Hundreds evacuated after Romanian dyke bursts

About 1 000 people were evacuated on Monday morning in southern Romania, after high water levels on the Danube opened two cracks in a dyke in Macesu de Jos, flooding about 400 houses in the same village, local authorities said.

“In total, 984 people left their homes Monday morning to find shelter in neighbouring villages as the water was rapidly moving towards the centre of Macesu de Jos,” said Mihaela Mocanu, a spokesperson for the southern Dolj county prefecture.

Local authorities on Monday maintained a state of alert in the nearby villages of Bistret and Plosca, which were also flooded, as the Danube’s flow reached 13,3 cubic metres per second, twice the normal volume for this time of year.

Two weeks ago, the river reached its highest capacity at 15,9 cubic metres per second.

Several hundred soldiers and police were working to try to plug the dyke at Macesu de Jos Monday, according to Vladimir Secara, a civil inspection official.

About 16 000 people have been affected by the floods that have hit Romania since early April, but according to the interior ministry 2 000 have already returned to their homes.

About 20 dykes have burst or been damaged in recent weeks along the Danube and its tributaries, and authorities have said they were carrying out “controlled floods” over more than 70 000ha to protect residential neighbourhoods.—Sapa-AFP

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