A few more photos of the Danube in Budapest from yesterday (June 7th) – it continues to get wider and wider!
People who have seen the photos on Facebook have been asking if we’re safe and if our home is okay. Budapest is incredibly lucky in that 1) we have not had significant rain, so the majority of the flooding is overflow coming down the river from the cities where it has rained, and 2) the city is well built along the river, with a lower bank and an upper bank.
The first point means that there is no flooding in the city other than directly along the riverbanks, so our home (which is about 1.5 kilometers from the river) is perfectly safe. In fact, today we’ve got a gorgeously sunny and warm morning, with no trace of clouds in the sky.
The second point means that while the lower roads are flooded, and some of the islands may be in danger, the majority of the city is built much higher. In Budapest, there are no homes or buildings directly on the river, other than the Parliament, which is built up on the upper embankment. The only things on the lower embankments are pedestrian walkways, roads, and tram lines, so while traffic has increased, and we will certainly have a lot of dirt and trash to remove over the next weeks, the risk of losing buildings and infrastructure is much less than it has been in other cities further along the Danube.
I have been very impressed with how Hungary has responded to the floods. The number of volunteers out there putting together sandbags is frankly astonishing. We have been fortunate to have advance notice of the floods and the time to prepare. My heart is so hurt when I look at the photos of the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, and some of the smaller towns to the north of us in Hungary, where they have had far greater damages. My friend Ariana sent me this link to photographs of Germany and it is just devastating.
For those that are really interested 😉 this map shows the effect of the floods on the transportation system, and it’s a great overview showing how the flooding is limited to a particular part of the city. On the second page, you can see where we live at the stop labeled Oktogon, which is well out of the danger zone.