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Many threatened by Danube flooding

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Many threatened by Danube flooding

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Tens of thousands of people across central south-east Europe are preparing for the worst with water in the Danube reaching record levels. In Romania, fed by heavy rain and melting snow, the river has hit its highest level in more than a century. Hundreds of homes have been swept away by the floods and nearly 40,000 hectares of farmland have been inundated. With all their belongings, hundreds of people have been forced to flee their homes.

Elsewhere, a state of emergency has been declared in 10 regions of Serbia. Bulgaria has also been severely hit. Authorities say they expect the Danube to rise near the border with Romania, although its level has stabilised in many places. They are especially looking out for the longstanding pressure on barriers, with water likely to stay high for some 10 to 15 days. Anti-flood defences have held high waters at bay, but authorities say ground water can still cause problems and landslides. Civil defence workers are rushing to shore up dykes and prepare a tent city for evacuees in case the flood barriers fail.