- Title: BULGARIA/ROMANIA: Floods continue to impact south east Europe
- Date: 21st April 2006
- Summary: WIDE OF FLOODED AREA AROUND SEEN FROM VIDIN
- Embargoed: 6th May 2006 13:00
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes
- Reuters ID: LVA9TIBKUJQL9YR77M2F40YJ9UOC
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The level of Danube continues to rise in Vidin, Bulgaria. It raised with 4 centimetres on Thursday morning (April 20). Overall though the situation in Vidin is manageable, albeit tense. The dykes are in a good condition. It hasn't stopped locals looking at the river in fear as thousands of Bulgarian homes are threatened as waters strain against the dikes.
"Believe me, we are trying not to panic, but it is difficult with small children and water that can sweep you out in a seconds, with no place to run," said Vanya, a local resident looking after her grandchild Ivan.
Authorities say that the heavy rains in Hungary and Serbia are worrying as they might cause another big Danube wave.
The river Danube has already overwhelmed flood barriers in Romania and is straining at levies elsewhere in the Balkans, inundating vast swathes of farmland and forcing people to evacuate their homes in hundreds of towns along its banks. In Romania, thousands have fled to higher ground, while neighbouring Serbia has suffered the worst damage to farming.
Following are updated details on the state of evacuations, damage to agriculture and infrastructure, and the shipping situation in the affected countries.
Around 5,750 people have fled their homes, the interior ministry said, down from 7,000 a day earlier as some people have returned to their flooded villages.
Water has swamped 378 km of roads -- down from a previous estimate of 485 km -- and destroyed 19 bridges. It has flooded 693 houses, destroying 198 and putting 120 at risk of collapse.
Some 73,000 hectares (180,400 acres) of land are submerged, 21,000 hectares through controlled flooding. Wheat was lost on 9,720 ha, 0.3 percent of the total wheat acreage. Barley was lost on around 1,000 hectares.
Around 6,000 farm animals have been moved to higher ground. Losses are estimated at about 4.6 million lei ($1.5 million) in agriculture and 7.6 million lei in forestry and fisheries.
Three of Romania's nine large Danube ports are working. Only flood relief teams and ships carrying food to isolated areas can pass. happen next week at the earliest.
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