Central European flood death toll reaches eight

Written by on June 4, 2013 in Europe - No comments

The death toll from floods in Central Europe has reached eight, with nine people missing, with cities and towns in the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria and Switzerland on flood alert and an emergency declared across the Czech Republic.

Several thousand people have had to flee their homes in the face of the floodwaters.

An extreme flood warning was in place for Mělník, north of Prague, on June 4, with the evacuation of 1500 residents from the area expected after flood waters burst a local levee. About 300 left or were evacuated from their homes earlier, Radio Prague said.

Flood barriers in Prague on Tuesday morning have held despite a surge in water level and flow rate after more water was released along the Vltava cascades, the system of dams and reservoirs on the Vltava River.

The town of Passau in southeast Germany is vulnerable because it is at the confluence of three rivers. Levels here are at their highest for 70 years and could rise further, euronews reported. In Passau, floodwaters have now reached a level not seen since the 16th Century, making much of the town inaccessible, the BBC said.

Floodwater has submerged a section of motorway linking the German city of Munich with the Austrian city of Salzburg.

In Austria, the meteorological service said two months of rain had fallen in just two days.

Downstream, countries including Bulgaria and Romania were expecting sharp rises in the level of the Danube in the week starting June 10.

In a statement on June 3, Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said that it strongly recommended that Bulgarian citizens planning to travel to the Czech Republic and the countries of Central Europe affected by the floods should carefully monitor the weather situation, comply strictly with the instructions of local authorities and, if possible, to not undertake travel to the region.

(Photo: Walter Novak of The Prague Post, which has continuing coverage of the flood situation)

 

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