Friday, June 7, 2013

Flooding Across Central Europe


Flooding Across Central Europe


Heavy rainfall over Europe during the the past week has swollen many rivers past their flood stage, wreaking havoc unseen in decades across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. At least 18 people across the region have been killed, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. In Germany, the crest of the Elbe River is now approaching the North Sea, as the swollen Danube River is surging toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Collected here are images from the past several days of those affected by these historic floods, even as meteorologists predict more rain over the coming weekend.

Torrential rains and flooding ravage Central Europe: the worst in 70 years


June 3, 2013 – EUROPE – Authorities in parts of Europe issued disaster warnings and scrambled to reinforce flood defenses as rivers swelled by days of heavy rain threatened to burst their banks. Several people have died or are missing in the floods in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland since the rains began on Thursday. The floods have killed at least one person and left several missing across the Czech Republic. Czech officials warned that the waters of the Vltava river could reach critical levels in Prague late on Sunday as soldiers erected metal barriers and piled up sandbags to protect Prague’s historic center from flooding after days of heavy rains swelled rivers and forced evacuations from some low-laying areas. Prague authorities also limited public transport and closed underground stations as water from the Vltava River overflowed into parts of the Old Town. The area is a UNESCO heritage site boasting hundreds of well-preserved buildings, churches and monuments dating back mostly to the 14th Century, including the Charles Bridge that straddles the Vltava. “Due to the current situation, I have declared a state of danger for the area of the capital city,” acting mayor Tomas Hudecek told a news conference. Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said 200 soldiers have been deployed so far to help local authorities. In Germany, where at least four people have died or are missing, Chancellor Angela Merkel promised federal support for affected areas and said the army would be deployed if necessary. Several cities, including Chemnitz in the east, and Passau and Rosenheim in the south, issued disaster warnings. Passau, which is located at the confluence of three rivers, could see waters rise above record levels of 2002, said Mayor Juergen Dupper. German news agency DPA reported that large stretches of the Rhine, Main and Neckar rivers have been closed to ship traffic. Evacuations are also taking place in neighboring Switzerland and Austria, where the torrential rain caused widespread flooding and landslides. At least one person died and two were missing in the deluge in Austria, which in some places has dumped up to two months’ worth of rain in just days. One clean-up worker was killed in a mudslide in the town of St Johann near Salzburg, the Austrian Press Agency reported, while two other people were missing in the province after being swept into raging streams. The provinces of Upper Austria, Tyrol and Styria were also hit hard by the severe weather, which triggered the worst flooding in some areas since 2002.
Worsening crisis: Water 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 spokesman 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,” spokesman 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.


The city hall of Grimma, Germany, surrounded by floodwater, on June 3, 2013. Flooding has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. Eastern and southern Germany are suffering under floods that in some cases are the worst in 400 years. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Wolf)


Aerial view of the Elbe River that has flooded fields next to the city of Elster, Germany, on June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/dpa, Patrick Pleul) #


A firefighter climbs up a flood barrier to check the nozzle of a hose squirting rising groundwater back out into the flooding Elbe River in the city center in Dresden, Germany, on June 6, 2013. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #


Night view of the rising Danube River and downtown Passau, Germany, on June 3, 2013. (Johannes Simon/Getty Images) #


Parked cars by a car dealer in the flooded village of Fischerdorf near Deggendorf, Germany, on June 7, 2013. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #


A Red Cross member talks to residents from his boat in the flooded center of Passau, Germany, on June 3, 2013. Raging waters from three rivers have flooded large parts of the southeast German city following days of heavy rainfall in central Europe.(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader) #


A statue in the floodwater of the Moson branch of River Danube in Gyor, 120 km west of Budapest, Hungary, on June 6, 2013. The River Danube is expected to peak on June 10 in Budapest, close to its highest level ever, 25 cm higher than the record levels of 2006.(AP Photo/Csaba Krizsan) #


The marketplace is flooded by the Elbe River in the city of Wehlen, Germany, on June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #


A cat tries to escape floodwater from the river Vltava in Kly, near Melnik, Czech Republic, on June 4, 2013.(Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images) #


Shipping containers, partly immersed in water at the flooded harbor in Riesa in the federal state of Saxony after the Elbe River broke through its banks, on June 5, 2013. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #


The door of a flooded house in the village of Lounky, Czech Republic, on June 6, 2013. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes on Wednesday as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region's worst floods in a decade. (Reuters/David W Cerny) #


A rescuer navigates through a flooded street in Passau, Germany, on June 3, 2013. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #


Members of the emergency services drive next to a barrier to protect the village of Stein-Krems in Lower Austria from the flooded Danube River, on June 4, 2013. (Reuters/Leonhard Foeger) #


Rescue forces from the THW (Technisches Hilswerk) place big sandbags on a dam and a street which is flooded by the swollen Danube River near Fischerdorf, Germany, on June 6, 2013. (Joerg Koch/Getty Images) #


Young people build a sandbag wall against the Elbe River flood in Dresden, Germany, on June 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #


The roof of a house stands above the floodwaters of Elbe River near Meissen, Germany, on June 5, 2013.(AP Photo/dpa, Matthias Hiekel) #


A resident named Sandra fetches groceries and other necessities with a rubber raft through a flooded street near the swollen Elbe River on June 7, 2013 in Elster, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #


A young boy looks out from the back of an army truck that is evacuating people from the flooded village of Devin, in Bratislava, Slovakia, on June 5, 2013. (Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa) #


An oil sheen caused by flooded heating oil tanks from households, on the floodwater of the Danube River near the Bavarian city of Deggendorf, on June 7, 2013. (Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay) #


A church stands partially submerged in the floodwaters from the swollen Danube River in Marbach, some 90 km (56 mi) west of Vienna, Austria, on June 3, 2013. (Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader) #


A traffic sign is partially submerged in flooded street in the village of Sarling in Lower Austria, on June 4, 2013.(Reuters/Leonhard Foeger) #


Petra Breitenfeller surveys her flood-damaged shop "Geko" in the center of the Bavarian city of Passau, on June 7, 2013.(Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #


A wine glass lies in mud inside the "Theatercafe - Aquarium" in the flooded center of Passau, Germany, on June 4, 2013.(Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #


The cloverleaf highway crossing of the A92 and the A3, flooded near the Bavarian city of Deggendorf, on June 5, 2013.(Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay) #


A man monitors a flood protection wall in Bratislavas's Devin borough, on June 5, 2013. (Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images) #


Workers clean the streets of the historical city of Passau, which was flooded by the swollen Danube River and the Inn river (above) on June 6, 2013. (Joerg Koch/Getty Images) #


Members of emergency services travel by boat along a flooded street in the center of the Austrian village of Emmersdorf, on June 3, 2013.(Reuters/Leonhard Foeger) #


Flooded houses next to river Steyr, during heavy rainfall in the small Austrian city of Steyr, on June 2, 2013.(Reuters/Leonhard Foeger) #


A girl from the village of Mlekojedy stands with her dog in front of the flooded road to her home, near the city of Litomerice, Czech Republic, on June 5, 2013. (Reuters/Petr Josek) #


An aerial view shows buildings flooded by water from the River Danube near the Bavarian village of Deggendorf, on June 6, 2013.(Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #


A brigde is flooded after heavy rainfall in Vienna, Austria, on June 4, 2013. (AP Photo/Hans Punz) #


Residents are carried to their homes in the bucket of a front-loader, in the eastern Bavarian village of Niederalteich, on June 6, 2013.(Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay) #


Emergency crews pump water at a dam along the flooded Danube River near the village of Deggendorf, Germany, on June 6, 2013.(Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #


Oil flows into floodwater from some of the houses in Fischerdorf, Germany, inundated by the swollen Danube River, on June 6, 2013.(Joerg Koch/Getty Images) #


A German soldier takes a break on the top of a sandbag dam in Bitterfeld, Saxony-Anhalt Germany, on June 6, 2013.(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #


A family canoes past vehicles stranded on the A3 autobahn after the swollen Danube River burst its banks in Deggendorf, Germany, on June 7, 2013. (Joerg Koch/Getty Images)


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