9/21/11 (AEIN) A long-term drought has severely reduced water levels in parts of the Danube River in eastern Europe. Radio Romania International reported late Tuesday that many cargo and passenger vessels have become unable to navigate the Romanian section of the Danube.
The drought has rendered seventeen segments of the river impassable, according to the Romanian government. Passengers have been removed from ships and transported to their destinations by bus. No vessels had been forced to issue distress signals, as of Tuesday.
Weather forecasts do not call for any significant rain in the near future. Government officials expect the situation to substantially improve within a month. Rainfall in other countries such as Germany also affects the water level of the Danube in Romania.
The Danube River begins at the Black Sea and extends 2,858 kilometers (1,776 miles), according to The World Almanac. It runs through Serbia, Austria and other countries, allowing ships to carry passengers and goods across eastern and central Europe.