Code yellow and orange alerts for flooding have been issued for the Danube and several other rivers in southern and southeastern Romania
The rising waters of river Olt, which divides Romania’s southern region in two parts, as well as other growing rivers in the south and south-eastern Romania have prompted hydrologists to issue code yellow alerts for these regions valid from Monday until Wednesday night.
The measure has been taken after several days of whimsical weather with massive snow, sleet and rainfalls, unusual for this time of the year. The thaw that followed has made the authorities and hydrologists closely monitor the affected areas. The Danube has also caused a lot of concern with a code yellow alert in place, as the river might burst its banks in some sectors.
Hydrologist Adrian Purdel, with details: “We have issued a code orange alert for the counties of Mehedinti, Dolj, Olt, Teleorman and Giurgiu. There is also an alert in place for the Harsova-Braila sectors, the Danube Delta and the counties of Constanta, Braila and Tulcea. The river has reached its maximum level at its entrance into Romania, at Bazias, which means that we expect the waters to decrease towards the end of the week. The rest of the Danube sectors are still under a code yellow alert.”
In the past two weeks the Danube’s warning levels have been exceeded in the port of Giurgiu, 60 km south of Bucharest and in the county of Olt, at Corabia, Calafat, Bechet and Galati. The waters’ level has almost doubled and there is the danger of flooding caused by the rising temperatures. In the county of Giurgiu, the Danube’s warning level has been exceeded by 70 centimetres and waters have submerged over three thousand of hectares of forest.
At Corabia in the Olt County, waters have flooded the waterfront, the meadow, the forest as well as plots of farming land along the riverbanks. The Danube’s waters have also exceeded the warning level in Galati, south-eastern Romania, but according to the authorities the housing district nearby remains out of danger.
The Lower Danube’s Administration has issued a speed limit for all the ships crossing that Danube sector, in order to protect the river’s banks as well as the dams. Special measures have also been taken along the promenade in Galati, to avoid flooding.
The Danube reached its all time high in Galati in July 2010, when it cleared the threshold of 677 centimetres, exceeding by 13 centimetres the historic high registered in 2006. In 2010, a 4 km-long dam of sandbags had to be built in order to protect the housing district on the river’s bank from flooding, a measure that turned out to be highly efficient in containing the flooding. The authorities were ready to commence the evacuation of 8 thousand people from the port area back in 2010 when waters submerged the waterfront and the shipyard, causing tens of millions euros in damage.(Edited by D. Vijeu)