(MTI) – Several Hungarian rivers are expected to flood in the coming days and efforts for defence must be made, the national disaster control chief said on Saturday.
Thousands were working to protect the dykes near Koszeg in the northwest overnight, Gyorgy Bakondi told a press conference.
Flood alerts are in place for the river Hernad (NE) and the Mura (S) and environs, as well as the Bodrog, the Sajo and the Bodva in the northeast, he said.
A recent storm triggering gale-force winds of up to 150-160 kph in speed caused severe damage near lake Balaton in the west, and clean-up operations are now under way. The storm caused damage to 114 homes in Tornanadaska, northeastern Hungary, and 130 people were evacuated, but they have now returned home, Bakondi said.
The river Mura is expected to crest at about 3.2m at Letenye on Sunday afternoon, the local water management authority told MTI on Saturday. Flood alert remains in place on the river, they added.
At the Kis-Balaton, a wetland area near Lake Balaton in the west, the area flooded by standing water has fallen to 275 hectares.
The Danube is expected to crest at above 4.3-4.5m at Nagybajcs, near Gyor (W) on Sunday morning, the local water management authority said on Saturday.
There is flood protection alert in effect on a total of 300kms along Hungary’s rivers, including grade three alerts, the highest level alert, along 60kms, the National Water Management Directorate (OVF) said.
The OVF said there is grade three alert in place on 6kms along the river Hernad and grade one alert on a total of 237.3kms along the Danube and the rivers Lajta, Raba and Repce in the west, the river Mura in the south and the river Sajo in the northeast.
The OVF said there has been more precipitation than expected on the Austrian parts of the catchment area of the Danube, and the catchment areas of the rivers Hernad and Sajo were also affected by more rain overnight. Water levels have also risen on several tributaries of the river Tisza in the east.
Further downpours have been forecast for Saturday across the country.
Photo: MTI – Gyorgy Varga