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Warsaw 'safe' as flood wave raises river to emergency level

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 21.05.2014 07:26
Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz says the River Vistula flood wave passing through the Polish capital on Wednesday will not threaten homes and businesses.

Aove and below: Views of Vistula River in Warsaw as water levels rose on Tuesday: photos - PAP / Tomasz Gzell

After a meeting of the Crisis Management Team, Mayor Gronkiewicz-Waltz told reporters that though the flood wave – caused by heavy rain in southern Poland over the weekend – reached 'emergency' levels on Tuesday, it is predicted to reach 7 metres at its height, 80 centimetres less than the wave that passed through the capital iin 2010 causing flooding in some areas of the city.

Sandbags had been placed in vulnerable areas by the river in the south of the city and train speeds have been reduced for services that pass near embankments, she said.

The flood wave will take up to 36 hours to pass through Warsaw, much shorter than in 2010, Gronkiewicz-Waltz added, when 25 people were killed in nationwide flooding.

Several villages in the south eastern Lubelskie province had to be evacuated at the weekend after the water level in the Vistula river exceeded safety levels.


Meanwhile, the Balkans has experienced the worst flooding in a century, with three months of rain falling in just three days last week.

“Particularly heavy rain and snowfall was reported in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia. In Bosnia and Herzegovina rainfall was the heaviest since records began in 1894. In the area around the Serbian capital, Belgrade, about 180 mm was measured within 48 hours,” says a report by risk modelling software firm AIR Worldwide.

“Almost a third of Bosnia is flooded, principally in the north east of the country, affecting about a quarter of the country’s population,” the report says in floods in the region that have taken up to 20 lives. (pg)

tags: weather
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