3 June 2013

Devastating Floodwaters Force Cancellation of Halle's Handel Festival

The Handel Festival in Halle, which since 1922 has annually presented a festival featuring the composer's work in the city of his birth, has been forced to cancel this year's slated offerings because of extreme flooding by the Saale river.

The decision to call off the festival was made by the prime minister of the central German state of Saxony-Anhalt Dr. Reiner Haseloff in tandem with Halle's mayor, Dr. Bernd Wiegand, after a state of emergency was declared in the city. 

"We ask for understanding for the fact that all events, special guided tours, excursions etc. have to be cancelled because of force majeure," read a note posted to the Handel Festival's website.

Torrential rains across much of central Europe have been particularly devastating to Germany, as surging rivers have caused unprecedented flooding and forced tens of thousands of evacuations. On Monday, floodwaters inundated the the central expressway connecting Munich and Salzburg. Crippling floodwaters have also hit areas of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Switzerland, and may augur future seasonal weather trends that could potentially wreak havoc with the European festival season. spacer 

More information can be found at The Handel Festival, the BBC and the New York Times.

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