Bulgaria puts watch on rising Danube River levels

Authorities in Vidin and Lom in northwestern Bulgaria have started a round-the-clock watch on the water levels of Danube River on April 5.

The water level at Vidin was 770cm, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) reported. In the coming days, the water level was expected to rise, but stay under the eight-metre mark.

At this level, authorities are only watching the levees system for any early signs of possible failure and there was no immediate danger of flooding in the region, BNT said, quoting local civil defence officials.

Recent tests of the Danube River levees system, carried out last year by the local drainage company, showed that the levees would withstand the water pressure even if the river level rises as high as 1050cm, the report said.

At Lom, the water was on the rise and reached the 775cm mark, Focus news agency said. The Danube’s tributary, Lom River, was also under watch but posed no immediate danger of flooding, according to local officials.

A day earlier, on April 4, authorities in Bulgaria said that eight of 10 large dams in the country were close to overflowing, but water would not be released because it could cause floods downstream.

Instead, Bulgaria’s power grid operator ESO said that it ordered electricity producers to cut down their power generation – partially due to a decrease in declining consumption because of the relatively warm weather – while hydro-power facilities would continue to operate at full capacity to reduce the water pressure.

(Barge on the Danube River at Vidin, Bulgaria. Photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis)



The Sofia Globe staff

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