About 3.2 million euros of EU investment can be used for improving the disaster management systems around Lake Balaton until the middle of 2019, according to VG.hu. 1.4 million euros will be spent on the storm forecast system and 1.5 on increasing the capacity of the firefighter units around the lake.
It is about time, as Lake Balaton’s water level is currently at a critical height; the management is drained with the maximum capacity into the Sió Canal, but the canal’s level is also on a record level, as Index reported. The lake’s water level reached 131 centimetres by Monday morning. The water level has never been this high in the last 12 years.
A third-degree alert was announced for the water damage management in multiple settlements around Lake Balaton from 16 March.
The rainy and snowy weather of the recent days caused a dangerous water level at Balatonfenyves, which is situated in the lowest point around the lake. The drainage canals are all full, and the water has already flown into some yards. Real estates are not threatened yet.
Hungarian National Weather Service stated that though there have been occurrences of such wintry weather conditions in March in the past couple of years, it is not usual. They claimed that after one week of spring weather, the sudden cold brought lost of humidity which immediately caused damages such as power cuts and traffic difficulties.
Though a warmer weather can be expected this week with less humidity, the melting snow will further worsen the inland water situation.
Meanwhile, there are plans to make Lake Balaton the most secure lake in Europe. The contract for the 3.2 million euros of investment into the lake’s security system was signed in December. Water damage management expert Péter Jarnik stated that the strategic program was developed for years involving 50 experts and 12 professional organisations.
The program includes 10 elements, 2 of which can be partly executed among the current circumstances. For the complete execution — like the installation of a radio alert system for storm forecast — National Directorate General for Disaster Management needs to find more support.
The full strategic program involves purchasing equipment helping the police’s summer duties, improvements in lifeguard services, establishing a centre for the water police, prolonging the service time of the weather forecast units to autumn and winter and upgrading the community radio system.
1.3 million euros will be invested in renewing 14 radio stations and establishing some new ones on both the shores and in the water. The disaster management directorates of the surrounding three counties (Veszprém, Somogy and Zala) will receive 1.5 million euros to purchase new equipment and vehicles and organising communication campaigns.
MTI Photo: György Varga
Source: VG.hu, Index.hu