A woman paddles a boat on the flooded Danube river in Nagymaros, 60 km (37 miles) west of Budapest June 8, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Laszlo Balogh

(Reuters) – The river Danube will peak at record high levels in Budapest on Sunday and dykes have been strengthened at critical points to protect the capital from flooding, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Sunday.

Tens of thousands have been forced to leave their homes and at least a dozen people have been killed in floods that have hit Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic over the last week.

The deluge reached Hungary on Friday but so far authorities, soldiers and thousands of volunteers have managed to defend the villages and towns along the river, piling hundreds of thousands of sandbags beside its dykes.

"The (floods) are approaching the heart of the country now, we can say that the next two days will be decisive," Orban told a news conference in the town of Esztergom, north of Budapest.

He said dykes have been raised and strengthened at the critical points in Budapest.

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