'Dramatic situation' after Germany floods

2013-06-03 14:03
Two people paddle on a overflooded street in Passau, southern Germany. (Christof Stache, AFP)

Two people paddle on a overflooded street in Passau, southern Germany. (Christof Stache, AFP)

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Passau - Raging waters from three rivers poured into the old town of Passau in southeast Germany on Monday, one of the cities worst hit by flooding that has spread across a large area of central Europe.

Rescuers used boats to transport residents from flooded parts of the city to dry land as officials warned that water levels - already the highest in 70 years - could rise further. A spokesperson for the city's crisis center said much of Passau was inaccessible on foot and the electricity supply had been shut down as a precaution.

"The situation is extremely dramatic," spokesperson Herbert Zillinger told The Associated Press.

Water from the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers rose above markers set in 1954, when the city suffered its worst flooding in living memory. Zillinger said levels would continue to rise throughout the day.

At least six people were reported to have died and seven were missing due to floods in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic following days of heavy rainfall.

Czech authorities were working to erect further protective metal barriers along the Vltava river, which also flows through the capital Prague.

Interim mayor Tomas Hudecek said no major evacuations were planned, but animals from a zoo located by the river have been taken to safety. Parts of the city's subway network have also been halted shut down because of flooding.

The German army has deployed hundreds of soldiers to help local authorities and volunteers reinforce flood defenses particularly in the south and east of the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to visit flood-hit areas on Tuesday, her spokesperson said.


Read more on:    angela merkel  |  germany

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