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Central Europe fights floods again

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Central Europe fights floods again


Central Europe is battling a second wave of floods after more torrential rain, following the emergency of a fortnight ago.

In Poland the Vistula river has again burst its banks in several places, flooding areas that were only beginning to recover. The army has been called in and thirty thousand people have been moved from their homes.

More than 20 people have been killed since early May. The situation is particularly bad in the south of the country.

“The flooding here in Sandomierz is getting worse and worse,” said the prime minister Donald Tusk during a visit to the south-eastern town. “Part of the dam has broken. Once again thousands of people are exposed to high water. Our plans to dry the area and rebuild homes must be delayed.”

In northern Hungary more than two thousand people have been moved from inundated towns and villages. Several houses collapsed in one town. Overall some twelve thousand people including police, soldiers and firemen are involved in flood-control operations. In Budapest workers are building a 1500-metre dam from sandbags to protect an island from the Danube.

Fifteen hundred people in Slovakia were forced to leave their homes overnight in Kosice, the country’s second largest city. Thousands of others in many eastern towns and villages have had to do the same in recent days.

The Prime Minister Robert Fico, running for re-election in a general election on June 12th, has approved a 25 million euro aid package for the hardest hit areas. He described the floods as the worst in a century.

Forecasters expect the rains to continue in parts of central Europe until next weekend.

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