At present, Europe is recording high temperatures and is also facing the risk of drought in the entire region. The drought has revealed several findings, however. In a recent finding, more than 20 German warships that were sunk during World War II have re-emerged in the Danube River in Serbia. The warships still contain ammunition and explosives and are stretched along the river near Prahovo, Serbia’s river port town.
According to media reports, the Danube’s water level had hit its lowest level in almost a century. Ships that were discovered belonged to Nazi Germany’s Black Sea Fleet. They retreated from advancing Soviet forces in 1944. These battle warships affect river traffic whose main arteries run via Germany, Italy and France when the water level drops.
The severe decline of the #Danube River to its lowest level in almost a century reveals the hulls of dozens of #German warships that sank during #WWII near the Serbian port of #Prahovo overlooking the river that passes and borders 10 European countries. pic.twitter.com/iHGNOtZ4Q0— خالد اسكيف (@khalediskef) August 20, 2022
These ships are posing a major threat to shipping routes as well as Serbia’s and Romania’s local fishing industries. Media reports state that the presence of these ships has reduced the navigable section of the river near Prahovo. From 180 metres to 100 metres (590 to 330 feet), the navigable section has been reduced.
A few parts of the WW II-era battleships, like bridges, broken masts, and twisted hulls; are lying across the riverbed, while some are submerged under sand banks.
According to media reports, Velimir Trajilovic, 74, a local who wrote a book about the German ships, said, "The German flotilla has left behind a big ecological disaster that threatens us, people of Prahovo."
The Serbian government in March had a tender to retrieve the ships and get rid of all the ammunition and explosives. As per the report, the total cost of the entire operation was estimated at $30 million.