Monday, June 3, 2013

Floodwaters threaten central Europe

The Guardian (UK) via AP: Raging waters from three rivers poured into the old town of Passau in south-east 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 centre said much of Passau was inaccessible by foot and the electricity supply had been shut down as a precaution. "The situation is extremely dramatic," 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 of Prague.

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

Marking the height of past floods in Passau, shot by Roger Wollstadt, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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