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Germany: Passau hit with worst flooding since Middle Ages01:12

Germany: Passau hit with worst flooding since Middle Ages

Germany, Passau
June 4, 2013 at 13:38 GMT +00:00 · Published

Germany: Passau hit with worst flooding since Middle Ages

Rising floodwaters continued to menace parts of southern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic on Tuesday, inundating the city of Passau with its worst flooding in about 500 years. Authorities report at least 10 people have died so far due to floodwaters cutting off urgent medical aid and transport links.

The Bavarian city of Passau, one of the worst hit regions, saw water levels reach 12.89 metres (42.29 feet) on the Danube river. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the federal government would pledge €50 million ($65m) in aid, with the Bavarian state government giving another €50 million. A spokesperson for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, said a total of 1,760 soldiers have been deployed to help local authorities and volunteers reinforce flood defences as several thousand people have been forced to leave their homes.

Meanwhile, the government of the neighbouring Czech Republic has declared a state of emergency across much of the country. In Prague, the fire brigade erected flood barriers to try to protect the Old Town from the swollen Vltava River, which flows through the Czech capital. Meteorologists said flooding in Prague and other areas of the country probably had not yet reached its peak. Staff at the Prague Zoo have also evacuated hundreds of animals, including large cats, tapirs, monkeys and gorillas.

While water levels in Passau have been falling by several centimetres per hour since Monday evening, flooding is worsening further north. In Saxony, the river Elbe is rising as water comes pouring in from the Czech Republic, while in Meissen, famous for its bone china, the city centre has already been flooded. Nearby Dresden has shut down one of its main bridges.

The European Commission has offerd help to the victims of the current flooding through the European Solidarity Fund, which it set up after the 2002 floods. Agencies and organisations assisting with recovery efforts in Passau include the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), the Federal Coast Guard and the International Red Cross, among others.

Germany: Passau hit with worst flooding since Middle Ages01:12
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Germany: Passau hit with worst flooding since Middle Ages

Rising floodwaters continued to menace parts of southern Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic on Tuesday, inundating the city of Passau with its worst flooding in about 500 years. Authorities report at least 10 people have died so far due to floodwaters cutting off urgent medical aid and transport links.

The Bavarian city of Passau, one of the worst hit regions, saw water levels reach 12.89 metres (42.29 feet) on the Danube river. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the federal government would pledge €50 million ($65m) in aid, with the Bavarian state government giving another €50 million. A spokesperson for the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, said a total of 1,760 soldiers have been deployed to help local authorities and volunteers reinforce flood defences as several thousand people have been forced to leave their homes.

Meanwhile, the government of the neighbouring Czech Republic has declared a state of emergency across much of the country. In Prague, the fire brigade erected flood barriers to try to protect the Old Town from the swollen Vltava River, which flows through the Czech capital. Meteorologists said flooding in Prague and other areas of the country probably had not yet reached its peak. Staff at the Prague Zoo have also evacuated hundreds of animals, including large cats, tapirs, monkeys and gorillas.

While water levels in Passau have been falling by several centimetres per hour since Monday evening, flooding is worsening further north. In Saxony, the river Elbe is rising as water comes pouring in from the Czech Republic, while in Meissen, famous for its bone china, the city centre has already been flooded. Nearby Dresden has shut down one of its main bridges.

The European Commission has offerd help to the victims of the current flooding through the European Solidarity Fund, which it set up after the 2002 floods. Agencies and organisations assisting with recovery efforts in Passau include the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), the Federal Coast Guard and the International Red Cross, among others.