European drought unearths Nazi warships in Danube, historic ruins



One of Europe’s worst droughts has dried out the continent’s major waterways, revealing relics such as a long sunken village and battleships from WWII.

This week, low water levels on the Serbian section of the Danube uncovered a graveyard of sunken German warships filled with explosives and ammunition. The ships, which came up near the port city of Prahovo, were part of a Nazi fleet in the Black Sea that sank in 1944 while fleeing Soviet forces. More ships are expected to be found trapped in the river’s sandbanks, loaded with unexploded ordnance.

A young Serbian transport minister told local media that there were about 10,000 explosives in the water.

Other ruins have also surfaced across Europe as the waters receded into the drought. In July, an ancient Roman bridge, built in the first century BC, was uncovered in the Tiber River, and in August a village that had been deliberately flooded in 1963 appeared to build a dam from the Belesar reservoir in Spain.

The village is one of the many locations that lie under water reservoirs in Spain. A ghost town that had been flooded to build a dam on Spain’s border with Portugal sprang up in February, revealing houses with windows and walls still intact.

Drought has threatened Europe’s shipping routes, food supplies and electricity this summer. European Union researchers said earlier this month that nearly half of the continent is under “warning conditions,” indicating severe drought and a major soil moisture deficit, The Washington Post reports.

This isn’t the first time most sites and relics have popped out of the water. For example, the Nazi ships also made their appearance during a heat wave in 2003. But the severity of this year’s drought has made the waterways particularly difficult to navigate, as the sunken boats pose a danger to fishing and shipping vessels that have to pass the hulls. to get past. Ships now have to squeeze through a 110-meter stretch of the Danube, nearly half of the available waterway they once had access to, Reuters said.

Glaciers in Europe experience worst melt ever

Officials estimate it will cost about $30 million to remove more than 20 ships, ammunition and explosives, the news wire reported.

But the arid conditions have also given archaeologists and researchers a rare glimpse into the past and contact with ruins that are normally difficult to access.

Earlier this week, the relentless heatwave that has left the Iberian Peninsula drier for the past 1,200 years also uncovered dozens of prehistoric rocks in a reservoir in central Spain.

The drought has drained the reservoir at a fraction of its capacity, the Spanish government said, giving archaeologists precious access to the Guadalperal dolmen, believed to date from 5000 BC. Known as the “Spanish Stonehenge”, in reference to the prehistoric monument built in what is now England, the stones were first discovered in the 1920s. The area where they stood was flooded in the 1960s to create a dam. and they’ve only been fully visible a handful of times since then, according to the NASA Earth Observatory.

“It’s a surprise, it’s a rare opportunity to access it,” archaeologist Enrique Cedillo, who is rushing to examine the relics before they are submerged again, told Reuters.

Matthew Cappucci contributed to this report.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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