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VILNIUS – Vilnius has announced an emergency situation due to landslides on the capital city’s historical Gediminas Hill, a city official said on Tuesday.
“It means that a commission of emergency situations will operate on a national level under the coordination of the Ministry of Interior Affairs,” said Povilas Poderskis, director of Vilnius municipality administration, who was quoted by local media.
The situation at Gediminas Hill was coordinated by a commission of emergency situations at Vilnius municipality.
According to Lithuanian legislation, if this emergency situation is not managed in a six month period on a municipal level, a national emergency situation can be declared. The mentioned six month term runs out next month as Vilnius municipality announced the emergency situation due to the deterioration of Gediminas Hill at the end of June.
In his words, the essence of the work would not change due to the decision. But some procedures might be shortened and work implemented more smoothly under higher level of coordination.
The historic Gediminas Hill, at the very heart of capital Vilnius, has been suffering from land slopes and disintegration caused by heavy rains since this mid-summer.
Despite measures taken by Vilnius municipality and the Lithuanian National Museum which coordinates reconstruction works on the hill, the country’s geological survey authority warned last week that deformations had been widening and new land slopes were possible. According to the experts, continuing rains pose further threats to the symbolic Vilnius mound.
However, they noted that Gediminas Hill and Gediminas’ Tower, the remaining part of the Upper Castle in Vilnius, currently are not at risk.
Nine million euros (10.6 million U.S. dollars) have been allocated by the Lithuanian authorities so far for restoration works so far.
Gediminas Hill, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vilnius due to its panoramic views and remains of medieval castle, is currently closed to the visitors.