More than a month after the heaviest rainfall in 400 years, the Danish capital Copenhagen is still struggling with the aftermath. Since Friday, the municipal council urgently advices all residents in the centre and surrounding districts to boil their drinking water before use, including for cooking and brushing teeth.
The urgent advice applies to about half of Copenhagen’s nearly 1.2 million inhabitants plus 96,000 citizens in the neighbouring municipality of Frederiksberg. Drinking water may have been contaminated when sewage mixed with drinking water during floods.
Tests found too high concentrations of malignant e.coli bacteria. They can cause intestinal infections.
The Danish branch organization of insurance companies expects the total damage from the flooding to exceed 350 million euros. This does not take into account new claims from last week, when some parts of Copenhagen were again decimetres under water after heavy rain. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 19 August 2011)
UPDATE 20 August 2011: The alarm for unsafe drinking water in the Danish capital Copenhagen was was downgraded on Saturday afternoon to a small part of the city centre and the Nörrebro district.
As a result, 40,000 residents are still urgently advised to boil their drinking water before use, including when preparing a meal or brushing teeth.
On Friday, 600,000 to 700,000 people, parliament, government offices, hospitals, almost all hotels, cafes and restaurants in Copenhagen and neighbouring Frederiksberg were warned after the drinking water company found high concentrations of malignant e.coli bacteria in tests. They can cause intestinal infections.
After new measurements on Saturday, the contamination seems to be less than one watering point. Experts think a possible cause is the mixing of sewage with drinking water after major floods in Copenhagen in early July. Many supermarkets expect a high demand for bottled water in the near future. | © 2011 Marcel Burger for ANP News Agency (original published in Dutch on 20 August 2011)