Europe

Hungary floods: Villagers evacuated as precaution

  • 8 June 2013
  • From the section Europe
Locals survey flooded River Danube in Domos village, west of Budapest 08/06
Dozens of settlements are facing record flood waters in Hungary

The authorities have been evacuating people from a village in western Hungary as a precaution against flooding along the River Danube.

About 2,000 people were moved from Gyorujfalu late on Friday. Frantic flood defence work is taking place in the area.

Some small towns and villages have been cut off and river levels are expected to peak in Budapest on Monday.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned Hungary faces its worst floods.

Widespread flooding in central Europe has inundated swathes of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, killing at least 15 people.

'Sense of siege'

In Hungary, the emergency services and volunteers are working to prevent the devastation seen last week further upstream in Germany.

Along more than 700km (470 miles) of the river, thousands of people, including many volunteers and even convicts from the prisons, are reinforcing earth and sandbag barriers,

Late on Friday, villagers were evacuated from Gyorujfalu, near the city of Gyor, because a dyke weakened after a landslide.

"The dyke is so far stable but water pressure is so high that we decided to evacuate Gyorujfalu due to safety considerations," the prime minister said, according to the MTI news agency.

Dozens of settlements along the Danube are facing record flood waters but so far the defences are holding, the BBC's Nick Thorpe reports from western Hungary.

He says there is a sense of siege in the capital Budapest, where river levels are expected to be at their highest early on Monday.

Forecasters say levels could rise up to 8.85m (29ft) - about 25cm (10in) higher than the Danube's previous record high in 2006.

Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos said that in a worst-case scenario up to 55,000 people may need to be evacuated.

However, he said he was confident that only the lowest-lying areas would be exposed to the river's expanded flow.

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