Jēkabpils water levels fall but still extremely high

Take note – story published 1 year and 4 months ago

From Saturday until 6 AM Sunday, the water level in the Daugava at Jēkabpils has decreased by 24 centimeters, according to data from the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre. However, it is still critically high, exceeding the red alert criterion – 8.4 meters – by almost 30 centimeters, LETA reported.

The municipality of Jēkabpils indicates that the situation in Jēkabpils is still dangerous, but stable. Extensive areas are flooding. Strengthening of the dam continued overnight. Evacuations have been ongoing from areas most in danger.

The local government has attracted a hydro engineer which, together with the management of the local government and other responsible specialists, continuously monitors the situation, as well as advises on ways of preventing flood hazards.

Jēkabpils municipal management, security services, communication center, and other responsible specialists also continued their work on Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The highest water level – 8.92 meters above zero point – was reached at the Jēkabpils observation station on Saturday around noon 9 AM It was just five centimeters below the 1981 spring flood record.

Rain causes water levels to rise in most rivers. Yellow alert on high water levels in rivers is in force across the whole country, orange warning is in force at the Pļaviņas water reservoir, red warning in the Daugava in Jēkabpils municipality has been extended until 14:00 Monday.

On Friday, January 13, the Jēkabpils dam that protected the city from floods began to be breached, but it was secured in the most dangerous spot. Evacuation is ongoing from the flooded areas of the city. 

Taking into account the development of the situation in Jēkabpils, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš called a crisis management meeting on Sunday, January 15. After the meeting, Kariņš said there was no need to declare a state of emergency in Jēkabpils and emphasized that the head of the regional municipality, Reinis Ragainis, was doing excellent work in organizing necessary measures, but that the Crisis Management Council is ready to react and make further decisions quickly if necessary.

The Prime Minister stressed that it is important for residents to follow the instructions of the municipality, especially regarding evacuation. The instructions are based on clear calculations and the danger that could come in the event of a dam failure that would seriously damage infrastructure.

Residents are advised to follow official updates on social media. On Sunday afternoon, an updated map of affected areas and evacuation zones was published (see below). The local municipality said that "For three days from 16.01.2023. until 18.01.2023 educational institutions affected by the flood zone will be closed".

People needing evacuation from affected areas can call 29206072 to arrange a pick-up.

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