‘If you see me, weep’: Drought reveals 1616 ‘famine stone’ in Elbe River

‘If you see me, weep’: Drought reveals 1616 ‘famine stone’ in Elbe River
‘If you see me, weep’: Drought reveals 1616 ‘famine stone’ in Elbe River

Centuries-old “hunger stones” were brought to light by the falling waters of the river Elba. A stone now visible in Decin, the town in the Czech Republic where the river passes on its way to Germany, is carved with a warning from 1616 that reads:If you see me, cry».

The stones, which are built into banks to mark water levels during famines, were uncovered as drought continues to hit many parts of Europe.

Other “famine stones”, which were a common landmark in German settlements from the 16th to 19th centuries, were inscribed with similar, grim warnings, the Telegraph wrote.

The British newspaper recalled that the water level in the Rhine reached historically low levels on Monday.

The German agency measured just 31cm of water at a key river reference point in the town of Kaub, when it is necessary for the level to reach at least 40cm for commercial shipping to be viable.

Authorities predicted water levels could recede further this week. Contargo, a German shipping company, warned on Friday that its barges, which ply the Rhine and its tributaries, “they will not be able to sail without danger».

In Emmerich, where the Rhine crosses the Dutch border, 3.8cm of water was measured at the reference point – a record low, surpassing the previous negative record of 6.8cm in the 2018 measurement. reference Emmerich – which is not the deepest part of the river – could drop to zero this week, the Rhine’s main trade routes remain afloat.

However, there are fears that the situation could worsen. “As long as it doesn’t rain, things will continue to go downhill“, said a representative of the Rhine Water and Shipping Authority to the Welt TV station.

Economists estimate that the disruption to shipping on the Rhine could knock up to half a percentage point off overall economic growth in Europe’s largest economy for 2022.

As Germany looks to coal to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, the Rhine has become even more critical. Energy giant Uniper, for its part, has already warned of production cuts at two of its plants – which together provide 4% of Germany’s coal-fired electricity – as ships are unable to carry enough coal, due of low water levels.

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

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The article is in Greek

Tags: weep Drought reveals famine stone Elbe River