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Friday, September 16, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  

Largest floods in Hungarian history

Flood in Miskolc, 1878

Memorial of the flood on St. Anna SquareThe Hungarian city of Miskolc lies on the drainage area of the river Sajó and the stream Szinva. Both the river and the stream played an important part in the development of the city, but during great rains they also meant danger. There were floods in 1691, 1788, 1813, 1845 and 1853, but the largest, which had the most victims and still remembered as the "Great Flood" was the one which destroyed the city in 1878. Among the floods in 19th century Hungary this one killed the most people.

On August 30, 1878 big storms coming from the Transdanubian region arrived in Northern Hungary – first in Eger, then Óhuta, Diósgyőr and Miskolc, then in Tállya, Golop and Mád. The rainfall swelled the water of the streams Szinva and Pece, and destroyed the largest part of Downtown Miskolc. The water swept away bridges, mills and houses, carrying a large amount of debris. The water level rose by 0,5 m by minute, making it impossible for many people to escape. In some parts of the city the water level was 4-5 m.

The flood destroyed 2000 buildings and killed almost 300 people (400 if people in neighbouring areas are counted). In the small village of Óhuta 73 houses were destroyed.

After the flood the citizens of Miskolc had to re-build the city virtually without any help. In the previous years the cities of Pest and Szeged were rebuilt in countrywide collaboration, with the help of generous donations, but in the case of Miskolc the fact that other, then more important cities were threatened by flood, diverted the nation's attention, even though the flood in Miskolc killed more victims that the floods in Szeged and Pest together.

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