The Lithuanian government's emergency commission proposed on Tuesday to declare a national emergency over the poor condition of Vilnius' historic Gediminas Hill, which is suffering from landslips.
Gediminas Castle Hill
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

"Members of the commission voted unanimously to propose that the government declare an emergency at the national level," Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas told reporters after the panel's meeting.

The final decision is up to the Cabinet.

A municipal-level emergency over the crumbling hill was declared earlier this year, but the deadline for bringing the situation under control ends this month.

Officials say that the status of a national emergency will help simplify the procedures for repairing the hill and will allow calling in troops, police or fire and rescue services in a crisis. However, the decision is unlikely to change the course of planned work, because the Culture Ministry is already leading hill rescue efforts.

The Lithuanian Geological Service warned in November that deformations of the hill were expanding and new landslips were likely to occur, but the capital's landmark Gediminas Castle Tower on top of the mound was not in danger of collapsing.

A total of 9 million euros are planned to be allocated for hill rescue efforts, but it is possible that more money will be needed.

BNS
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