June 4, 2010 / 4:06 PM / 8 years ago

Floods threaten Serbian capital

BELGRADE, June 4 (Reuters) - The Danube river has risen to dangerous levels in Belgrade and the authorities are preparing emergency measures to protect the Serbian capital from flooding, an official said on Friday.

"The Danube is rising at the rate of 1 cm per hour and we will start putting up anti-flooding defences on Sunday," Slobodan Stojicic, a city official in charge of managing water resources told reporters.

He said some lower parts of Belgrade, including those around medieval Nebojsa tower, could flood late on Friday.

"We have a 24-hour watch in place, heavy machinery and sandbags ready," Stojicic said.

Since the start of 2010, about 10 people have died in flash floods in Serbia’s rural areas, caused by melting snow or heavy rains. Several towns in the northern Vojvodina province also reported some flooding this week.

Heavy rains caused floods across central Europe this week, forcing thousands to flee their homes. [ID:nLDE65123Z]

The Serbian government adopted an emergency plan last month to build protective concrete walls to defend the southern town of Trgoviste after a massive landslide and flash flooding killed two people last month. (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic)

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