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Efforts under way to protect settlements near flooding River Mura

Flood defences are being strengthened in four settlements in Zala County, in western Hungary, around the flooding River Mura, which is likely to peak on Monday night, the local disaster management authorities have said.

Volunteers have used thousands of sandbags and mobile barriers to protect local villages, according to the Zala County Disaster Management Directorate’s website.

The water level of the River Mura was 548 centimeters at Letenye on Monday afternoon, and it is expected to peak at midnight.

The highest water level previously measured at Letenye was 554 centimeters.

Flood defence work is under way in other parts of the country, too, after the water level on the River Drava reached a record 491 centimeters at Ortilos, in the south-west, 15 centimetres higher than the previous record, the national water management directorate (OVF) told MTI.

The river’s water level is expected to peak at the southern border village of Dravaszabolcs on Thursday, topping the 596 centimeter record measured in 1972, the OVF said.

The directorate said it was prepared to assign experts to oversee the flood protection efforts to settlements where the mayor deems it necessary.

Orbán hails flood protection efforts

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán held consultations with the leaders of the National Technical Management Board (OMIT) on the flooding caused by days of heavy rainfall in Hungary in recent days, the PM’s press chief said on Monday.

Orbán was briefed on work carried out so far and the next steps to be taken by the protection body of the national water management directorate (OVF), Bertalan Havasi said in a statement.

They concluded that the flood protection developments undertaken in recent years “have passed the test” and flood protection professionals were “standing their ground and are capable of protecting people and their property from the floods”.

The prime minister thanked the flood protection personnel for their efforts.

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