Officials hope water levels in the Danube – at their highest level in 111 years – will recede today but devastation and displacement have already taken a heavy toll. Authorities in Romania deliberately flooded vast swathes of forest and farmland in a bid to save towns and villages along the river’s course.
Central Europe’s worst flooding in more than a century has been caused by melting snow and prolonged heavy rain across the region. Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia are the countries worst affected. A blockage in Serbia’s narrow Djerdap gorge, near the border with Romania, has caused water levels to rise all the back to Belgrade.
There, as elsewhere, there has been a mass mobilisation to try to protect the city. Across the Balkans hundreds of people have been moved from their homes, many of which have been destroyed. Near the Bulgarian town of Vidin, authorities have set up a tent city for potential evacuees. In other parts of the country it is feared worse could be to come later in the week. Much of the Balkans is still reeling from floods last year which left scores of people dead.