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Europe: Danube flooding subsides
June 11, 2013, 1:49 am

The Danube reached record levels in Budapest [Xinhua]

The Danube reached record levels in Budapest [Xinhua]

The Danube has begun a gradual pull-back in the Hungarian capital Budapest, with the water level dropping to 887 centimeters on Monday morning after cresting at 891 centimeters overnight, the Interior Ministry’s Water Management Directorate reported.

Torrential rains have caused the worst flooding in a decade in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Budapest has been the hardest hit.

South of the city the river is still rising and breaking all-time records. The flood crest reached Dunafoldvar, 79 km south of Budapest on Monday, measuring 706 centimeters, 3 centimeters over the previous high.

At Paks, 98 km south of Budapest and the site of Hungary’s only nuclear reactor the Danube was measured at 872 centimeters, equal to the previous record, and is still rising. Flood defenses are on high alert and dikes appear to be holding fast.

Some 807 km of riverfront remain under a flood watch, with peak defenses on 191 km, the National Technical Manage Corps reported on Monday.

Key roads remain closed to traffic in Budapest. Some, particularly the highways along the Danube embankment, are still underwater, while others are still reserved for emergency vehicles.

Parliament is expected to vote on Monday to extend the state of emergency covering the entire line of the Danube for another 15 days given the continued flooding through the south of Hungary and the massive cleanup effort needed once the waters recede.

Meanwhile, the Slovak capital city of Bratislava lifted the state of emergency over floods on the Danube on Monday, Bratislava Mayor Milan Ftacnik said.

“Nonetheless, works related to the floods haven’t been completed yet. The level (of the Danube River) may rise due to the recent rains in Germany and Austria, but it shouldn’t go beyond the second-degree flood alert,” said Ftacnik.

There remains a lot of work to do with removing flotsam and jetsam from roads near the river that were submerged last week. The dock in the Karlova Ves Inlet will need more time to recover.

“The leaks there have been more extensive than we originally estimated,” said Ftacnik.

As the latest weather forecasts indicate that intense rains may hit over the next two days, the mobile anti-flood barriers remains in place on the Slavic riverbank in Devin and under Devin Castle. All the other barriers at the Petrzalka embankment were removed on Saturday and Sunday.


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