Sat Apr 22nd, 2006 at 03:56:17 PM EST
Today is Earth's day, and I was at a CriticalMass cyclist protest in my home Budapest. A video-counted 32,000 and police-counted 30,000 bikers angered drivers when going around in the inner city. At the end, we raised our bikes - yours truly is visible somewhere on the picture below:
An earlier photo of the crowd on the shores of the Danube:
Meanwhile, along Hungary's second largest river Tisza, an incredibly massive flood is rolling down (which is bound to make the already critical situation downriver on the Danube worse).
For comparison: in 1879, a flood-of-the-millenium levelled Southern Hungarian town Szeged - that one topped out at river height mark 806 cm. The city then got dams of pharaonic proportions, cresting at 1000 cm (with a masonry wall giving another 1 m). Due to river regulation upriver, records rose afterwards - climbing to 960 cm in 1970.
Today, the river topped out at 1009 cm. As the masonry wall is leaky, sandbags had to defend the city.
Below another Index photo looking down from a bridge...
...and for comparison, an older photo found on the web, looking in the opposite direction from atop the masonry wall, showing what's under water now.