No ships permitted to sail on the Danube from 18:00, Monday

No vessels are allowed to traverse the Danube River in Slovakia as of 18:00 on Monday, June 3, in line with a decision made by Slovakia's State Shipping Administration (SPS) earlier in the day. The measure is designed to prevent any accidents that could pose a threat to human lives and property. SPS noted that safe navigation cannot be guaranteed in the current situation.

No vessels are allowed to traverse the Danube River in Slovakia as of 18:00 on Monday, June 3, in line with a decision made by Slovakia's State Shipping Administration (SPS) earlier in the day. The measure is designed to prevent any accidents that could pose a threat to human lives and property. SPS noted that safe navigation cannot be guaranteed in the current situation.

"Ships navigating in such a strong current aren't able to maintain safe speeds and are threatened by numerous floating objects such as tree trunks," the TASR newswire was told by SPS's Jana Vadkertyová. The ban comes as a response to the alarming water levels on all stretches of the Danube River caused by persistent rainfall in Austria and Germany.

In addition, the Slovak Hydro-meteorological Institute (SHMÚ) earlier in the day issued the highest third-grade flood alert for the entire Slovak stretch of the Danube River. The water level on the river at the confluence with the Morava River near Bratislava's Devín area has reached 720 cm and is still rising.

The Danube River could reach levels matching those last seen during the major floods in 2002 on the night between Wednesday and Thursday, Danica Lešková of the SHMÚ told the SITA newswire on Monday. "It seems as though the Danube's level has already reached its peak in Germany, so we expect the highest level to reach us (on the night) between Wednesday and Thursday, perhaps on Thursday morning," she said. Lešková went on to note that an important level-measuring point in Passau, Germany, has been flooded which prevents SHMÚ from receiving updated information about the upper section of the Danube.

According to Lešková, however, the expected peak should be somewhere around 900-960 centimetres in Bratislava's Devín, and over ten metres in the centre of the city. In 2002, the Danube reached as high as 948 centimetres in Devín. "It will be roughly the same this time round, give or take 20 centimetres," she said, heralding more precise calculations on Tuesday. The Sme daily wrote on Monday evening that the level of the Danube has already exceeded eight metres, and the second-degree alert was effective also for Devín.

In Bratislava, the Loď Café / Divadlo v podpalubí on a boat anchored at Tyršovo Embankment, as well as the Aréna Theatre on the Petržalka embankment have cancelled performances until further notice. The relatively new Freedom Cycling Bridge / Cyklomost slobody connecting Bratislava with Austria over the Morava River has been closed, too, due to floods, SITA wrote.

(Source: TASR, SITA, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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