Drought in Europe: sunken German ship in Danube, ‘Stonehenge’ unearthed in Spain

In the drought crisis, which reached serious dimensions with the effect of global warming in Europe, many rivers came to the point of drying up. Dozens of megalithic stone circles, called ‘Stonehenge’ in Spain, came to light as the hull of a German warship from the Second World War was exposed on the part of the Danube River that passes through Serbia.

In Spain, where the driest period of the last 30 years has been experienced, the average water level in dams and ponds has dropped below 40 percent for the first time since 1995.

Dozens of megalithic stone circles, officially called Dolmen de Guadalperal and dubbed the Spanish Stonehenge, have emerged from a dam whose water level has dropped.

The structures in the Valdecanas reservoir in the Caceres region are believed to date back to 5,000 BC.

The archaeologists went to the site for inspection before the area was flooded again. “It’s a surprise, a rare opportunity to have access to it,” says Enrique Cedillo of the Complutense University in Madrid, one of them.

Discovered by German archaeologist Hugo Obermaier in 1926, the area was flooded in 1963 by a rural development project during Francisco Franco’s time. It has only become fully visible four times since then.

Some local history and tourism associations advocate moving the Guadalperal stones to a museum or elsewhere on dry land.

According to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the Iberian peninsula is experiencing the driest period in 1,200 years due to climate change.

German warship exposed in Danube

In a section of the Danube River near Prahovo in eastern Serbia, more than 20 ships have been exposed to date, most of them still containing tons of ammunition and explosives and posing a danger to shipping.

The ships were in Nazi Germany’s Black Sea fleet in 1944 when they were withdrawing from Soviet forces.

“The German fleet has left behind a great ecological disaster that threatens us the people of Prahovo,” said Velimir Trajilovic, 74, who has written a book about German ships.

Workers in the local fishing industry are also at risk, including Romania, just across the river.

In Serbia, authorities are working to keep the navigation lanes on the Danube open.

The Serbian government held a tender in March for the salvage of the ships and the removal of ammunition and explosives. The cost of the operation was estimated at 29 million Euros.

Months of drought and record high temperatures also blocked river traffic on vital arteries in other parts of Europe, particularly in Germany, Italy and France.

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