Climate change continues to have unsettling ramifications across the world. One of the latest unexpected turns of events is happening at the Danube River.
Due to severe drought conditions, water levels are dropping at the Danube, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. As a result, German battleships from World War II are surfacing.
The drought affecting Europe is the continent’s worst one in decades. The Danube is the second-longest river in Europe.
“In the middle of the mighty river separating Serbia and Romania near the Serbian port of Prahovo, a rusty hull, a broken mast where the swastika flag used to fly, an upper deck where a command bridge used to be, a barrel that could have been holding fuel — or even explosive materials — lean on a pebblestone dune that has emerged from the water,” the AP report said.
The wire service added that some of the ships still contain munitions. Part of Nazi Germany’s Black Sea fleet, German forces sunk the battleships on purpose as they retreated from Romania.
Troubling Developments At The Danube
Emanuele Giaufret, the European Union ambassador to Serbia, commented on the developments at the Danube while touring the site of the wreckage, per AP.
“These [sunken] vessels … have been lying on the river bed ever since,” he said. “And this is a problem. It’s a problem for the traffic on the Danube, it restricts the capacity to move, it’s a hazard because certain vessels still contain unexploded ordnance.”
Alessandro Bragonzi, the head of the European Investment Bank in the Western Balkans, also reportedly weighed in on the matter.
“It [is] estimated that more vessels are underwater, up to 40, but those that are currently impeding the fairway conditions of the Danube, especially during periods of low water level, are 21,” he said.
The situation at the Danube is remarkably similar to developments happening at Lake Mead. Two months ago, a World War II-era watercraft surfaced at that lake. It hit record-low water levels amid the worsening “megadrought” in the Southwestern U.S.