The central Europe flooding which has already left at least 15 confirmed dead is spreading to the north and to the east. As the flood waters swell the Danube River, Hungary is bracing for what could be the worst flooding ever recorded in that nation.
In the slow-motion disaster, the river will likely reach peak flooding near the Slovakian border on Saturday and then keep rolling onward to reach Hungary’s capital Budapest on Monday.
Istvan Tarlos, the mayor of Budapest, said that the water is projected to reach a record of nearly 30 feet deep — a foot short of being enough to overtop the relatively modern flood defenses dating back to the 1970s.
In scenes that have been repeated all across central Europe this week, both military and civilian forces have been planting sandbags to reinforce dams and floodwalls.
Prime Minister Viktor Orban has warned the nation of Hungary: “We are facing the worst floods of all time.”
The flooding deaths were in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, and Slovakia. While CNN is still reporting only 15 dead, Germany’s Spiegel has the death toll at 17.
The waters are now starting to fall in the Czech Republic, which never saw a disaster quite as bad as the 2002 flood.
However, Germany has reported that the flooding is worse there than in 2002, and tens of thousands of victims are evacuated from threatened or already-flooded areas. Spiegel’s report said that the cost of the flooding disaster in Saxony (one German state) will be at least €2 billion — well over $2.5 billion in US dollars.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already promised some aid, but citizens have complained that it isn’t enough. She clarified that the first pledges were not the final figures but just some funds to get the clean-up projects started: “When the high water recedes, the analysis of overall damages will begin. Then there will naturally be further help.”
Watch video of the central Europe flooding disaster:
[flooded house photo by M.M. via Shutterstock]