Thousands of volunteers have been mobilised in Hungary to reinforce dykes as the Danube threatens to flood the capital, Budapest. Local companies have been asked to donate lorries and drivers for the day to transport earth and sand. The waters are now just 10 centimetres below 2006’s absolute record.
“This village was flooded completely in 1954, including the house where I was born. Now the water’s almost at the same level, but the dams are in much better condition, and we started defence work on time, so I hope we will succeed,” said one young man.
The Mayor of Budapest says it is now certain the Danube will not rise above nine metres, but that is only 30 centimetres below the disaster level.
Austria and Germany have also been severely hit. While the waters in Austria fell on Saturday morning, in Germany the Elbe is still rising.
Saxony Anhalt’s state capital Magdeburg is preparing for floods, and alerts are in place throughout northern Germany.
In all tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and at least a dozen people killed in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech republic in this week’s floods.