News In Brief

Low rainfall slows major rivers in Europe to trickle

Europe's major rivers are drying up for lack of rain, with shipping on the Danube and the Rhine disrupted and power generation by hydro-electric stations severely curtailed.

The level of the Danube is down to 35 inches, against the 118 inches ideally required, and cargo shipping is at a standstill along its entire length.

Meteorologists see no heavy rain in the near future.

The Rhine, West Europe's principal north-south waterway, has fallen to its lowest levels in 11 years in some areas. Barges in West Germany have had to cut their loads by up to half.

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