Strong winds and rain pound Balkans region

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A car was damaged by falling branches in Zagreb, Croatia (Darko Bandic/AP)

Stormy winds have uprooted trees, knocked over traffic lights and disrupted travel in Croatia, injuring two people and prompting authorities to advise people to stay indoors.

Police said two pedestrians were injured in the capital, Zagreb, where the wind hurled around rubbish bins and market stalls, blew the roof off one house and ripped off tree branches.

Firefighters reported hundreds of deployments across the capital since Sunday evening. Officials recommended that people not go outside unless absolutely necessary.

Authorities have restricted traffic on several roads across the country.

The gusts were reported to have reached 93mph in some areas.

“We have not seen such a storm in the last 45 years,” said Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic.

In north-western Bosnia, heavy rains have swollen rivers, flooding dozens of houses and some roads.

Authorities in neighbouring Serbia also warned of upcoming heavy rains that could cause small rivers to overflow.

The region was hit by massive flooding in 2014 when dozens of people died.