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Floods hit 141 towns and villages, 383 people evacuated

THE RECENT floods in Slovakia have affected 141 towns and villages across the country, and have forced 383 people from their homes, said Marek Misecka of the Interior Ministry on March 31.

Water has flooded 728 homes and over 1,300 hectares of land. According to official information, the floods have claimed two lives so far.

In order to tackle the effects of the floods, 133 Fire and Rescue Brigade (HaZZ) members have been deployed, along with 104 members of other firefighting units. HaZZ representatives expect a gradual improvement in the situation on the upper and middle sections of rivers. However, the Morava and Danube rivers will require special attention. The levels of rivers in eastern Slovakia are also expected to rise.

The overflowing Danube River attracted dozens of curious people to its banks in Bratislava on March 30.

The water level in the Danube has reached 8.2 metres, and river transport has been suspended. Anchored ships are riding so high that it is possible to see into their portholes, not only from the city embankments, but also from city-centre bridges.

In 2002, when Bratislava was hit by floods and protective sand-bag walls had to be built on Šafárikovo Square, the level of the Danube reached nearly 10 metres.

Although the government has approved a flood-protection programme to 2010 of around Sk20 billion (€529 million), it has fallen behind its payment schedule by more than Sk5 billion.

Compiled by Marta Ďurianová from press reports
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