EU Commissioner: Danube Floods to Arrive in Bulgaria Jun 14Environment | June 7, 2013, Friday // 18:36| views
Bulgaria's EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, photo by BGNES
The Danube River high waters that caused floods in the Slovak capital Bratislava, will reach Budapest around June 10, and will then come to Bulgaria and Romania on June 14.
The information was reported by Bulgaria's EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva.
Georgieva, who was in Bulgaria Friday, assuaged fears in saying the situation in the country would not be as disastrous as it was in Central Europe. She explained that assistance for the flood-ravaged areas came from the solidarity fund which is different than the regular budget of the European Commission.
The Commissioner said EU Member States will be asked to contribute only after the final assessment shows the resources of the solidarity fund would not be sufficient.
"If floods reach Bulgaria, Bulgaria will get help too," she pledged, noting the affected countries needed reliable and accurate information the most.
Georgieva pointed out the EC disasters center is providing such information via satellites and has 30 teams for flood management and assistance.
According to her, for the time being, Bulgaria's Danube ports are not under threat, but the situation needed close monitoring as it was prone to change in coming days.
The Commissioner stressed Bulgaria has money from EU funds to tackle disasters and emergencies and must use them even more than it does now.
Meanwhile, the BBC reports that Hungarians are being warned to prepare for their country's worst floods ever as the Danube is set to reach record levels over the weekend.
Europe's second longest river is set to hit unprecedented levels in the capital Budapest in the next few days.
A state of emergency has been declared, and thousands of volunteers worked overnight to reinforce the banks of the swelling river. Emergency workers have set up camps along the river as residents packed sandbags around their homes.
Water levels are set to reach 8.85m.
Kristalina Georgieva has tweeted: "Hungary well prepared for highest ever measured water levels on Danube. We are monitoring & ready to assist."
The Danube peaked on Thursday in the Slovak capital Bratislava, where the main flood defenses held firm.
In northern Germany, workers piled sandbags along the banks of the River Elbe as waters rose, after widespread flooding further south. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from at-risk areas, where the flooding is worse than that recorded in 2002.
On Thursday the Elbe flooded parts of Dresden as it rose nearly 7m above its normal level, but the city's historic center remained unscathed.
Upstream along the Elbe in the Czech Republic, emergency workers used boats to shuttle supplies to stranded people as large areas remained under water.
Widespread flooding in central Europe has inundated parts of Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic, killing at least 15 people.