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Floating ice hampers Danube traffic

Traffic on the Danube River in the Romanian counties was difficult Tuesday because of floating ice. The Ministerial Emergency Committee has issued a river advisory to 12 Danube prefectures - Braila (east), Calarasi (south), Caras-Severin (south-west), Constanta (south-east), Dolj (south), Galati (east), Giurgiu, Ialomita, Mehedinti, Olt, Teleorman (all in south) and Tulrcea (east).

Floating ice was reported on the Danube portion in Caras-Severin County, but no ice agglomerations, according to head of the Caras-Severin Waters Management System with the Romanian Waters National Administration.

River traffic on the Danube was still closed in Mehedinti County between Iron Gates II and Svinita because of floating ice that was turned into ice thresholds by currents, according to Director of the Drobeta Turnu Severin Regional Captain's Office Mihai Ghiba.

February 29 - March 5, the Danube flow at the entrance point to Romania is forecast to drop to 3,000 cubic metressecond, while the existing ice formations will be tenacious without important modifications, as their development depends on day temperatures, Spokesman for the Jiu Basin Water Administration Camelia Barbutu told Agerpres.

The tugboats of the Galati Lower Danube River Administration (AFDJ) continued on Tuesday to improve traffic fluency. An ice bridge formed at Isaccea, Tulcea County, and on the Sf. Gheorghe branch of the Danube.

The AFDJ says the Tulcea branch of the river was free of ice on Tuesday, but floating ice covered up to 80 percent of the river on the Sulina canal.

AFDJ Galati Director Florin Uzumtoma said Tuesday that the floating ice will be a traffic nuisance and affect the port infrastructure for almost one month.