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Severe Floods Have Country on Alert

Hungary Today 2023.08.08.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán discussed the flooding caused by the heavy rains of the past few days at the National Technical Management Staff on Monday, where he and the heads of the organization reviewed the situation.

The prime minister listened to a report from the National Water Directorate’s protection body on the work carried out so far and the tasks ahead. It was noted that the flood protection improvements and new facilities implemented in recent years had passed the test, and that experts are able to protect people’s safety and property from floods.

The prime minister said he believes that the experts have the matter under control and that there is no information that has not reached the relevant parties. “They know exactly where, how many sandbags, they know which street, which number of houses have been affected or where water has gone into the basement,” Viktor Orbán emphasized.

He pointed out that there will be a more difficult situation on Thursday in the south, at the Dráva river.

Rivers are flooding across the country after heavy rains in recent days, which have severely affected several neighboring countries, reports Hirado.hu. The Mura in western Hungary has already flooded homes, but the situation on the Dráva nearby is also critical. Water authorities are working 24 hours a day in the affected areas. Experts anticipate the Dráva to rise to near or above record levels throughout Hungary. It has already broken the record for the highest water level ever recorded at Őrtilos, and the water is continuing to flow in.

Protection measures have already begun in the settlements along the Mura, with dams being built to reinforce the river bank.

However, one house in Muraszemenye is still flooded and is slowly becoming accessible only by rubber dinghy. A stretch of road between Murarátka and Letenye has almost turned into a lake, and the water authority has closed it off with a mobile barrier to prevent the flooding river from endangering the local residents.

At Barcs, southwest Hungary, the open beach was completely flooded by the river Dráva. The water level is already at the height of the benches on the shore, and only centimeters away from the cycle path. Experts say the water level will rise by more than two meters in the next few days, with the river reaching its peak on Wednesday.

The river Rába at Körmend, western Hungary, on the other hand, has already started to recede, after reaching its maximum level of 550 centimeters on Monday morning. Although the river has left its bed, there was no threat to residential buildings. In Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, east Hungary, the Sajó river also peaked on Monday morning at Sajópüspöki, with a water level of 365 centimeters. Four sections of road in the county had to be closed due to the flooding. Several municipalities have already asked for help to protect themselves, so the water authority is constantly deploying its experts to critical sections of the river.

The flood situation is even more severe in neighboring countries.

Emergency services were deployed in several areas of Austria and Slovenia on Sunday after days of heavy rain and flooding, causing landslides. The Slovenian Prime Minister announced on Sunday that he had requested assistance from neighboring countries and had also notified the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

Hungary has offered help, and

two H-145 helicopters of the Hungarian Defense Forces flew out to Slovenia on Monday to assist in rescue operations.

Colonel Tamás Bali, the commander in charge of the operation, said that the Hungarian soldiers are scheduled to deliver food and medicine to the 100-kilometer radius of Slovenj Gradec airport on Monday, to the residents of flooded villages isolated from the mainland.

In Georgia, the unprecedented rainfall has led to landslides in the northern part of the country, where there is no precedent for this kind of disaster, causing huge damage. According to reports, at least 18 people died and almost 20 are still missing after the natural disaster at the popular resort in a valley in Shovi on Thursday night. Hungary has offered disaster relief assistance to Georgia.

Featured photo via Facebook/Farkas Szilárd

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