Hungary begins evacuations as flood waters surge toward Budapest
BUDAPEST (AFP) - Hungary began evacuating villages and reinforcing leaking dykes along the rising Danube River on Saturday, as central Europe's worst floods in over a decade headed toward Budapest.
The floods have killed at least 14 people, forced thousands from their homes and have left billions of euros in damage in their wake as they washed over parts of Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In Hungary, the Danube was swelling its way eastward across the country, in many places beating previous historical water levels last set in 2006 in what Prime Minister Viktor Orban predicted would be the country's "worst floods of all time."
Budapest was expected to be the hardest hit on Monday, with forecasters predicting the river will rise to as high as 8.86 metres, more than double the levels usually seen at this time of year and some 25 cm higher than the last record set in 2006.