Tags: germany | austria | czech | flooding

Czechs, Austrians, Germans Prepare for More Severe Flooding

Image: Czechs, Austrians, Germans Prepare for More Severe Flooding
Firefighters make their way through the water in Kritzendorf near Vienna, Austria on June 5 after the village was flooded by the river Danube.

Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 11:20 AM

German, Czech, and Austrian cities near the Danube and Elbe rivers braced for more flooding Wednesday, mobilizing troops and firefighters and evacuating thousands of people after inundations from heavy rains left at least 12 people dead.  

Eight of the reported fatalities were in the Czech Republic, two in Austria, one in Slovakia, and one Switzerland.
 
The widespread floods, which have turned villages into islands in seas of muddy water, were the worst since 2002, when scores of people were killed and billions of dollars worth of infrastructure were damaged.
 
In the Czech Republic, some northern villages were already under water, leaving homes without power, telephone service, water, and basic supplies.
 
“People who stayed in their homes are running out of drinking water,” Czech firefighter Jiris Kris said on Germany’s N24 television, adding that rescue workers in the flood zone were exhausted.
 
“We haven’t slept in 40 hours,” Kris said. “Only yesterday were we able to rest for three hours, and today we kept going.”
 
In Germany, the Elbe rose to 26 feet — four times its usual height as 40,000 firefighters and 5,000 troops were mobilized. Authorities instructed thousands of people to leave their homes ahead of flood waters that were expected to peak on Thursday.
 
In southern Germany, where the Danube burst its banks, 6,000 people were evacuated from the Bavarian rural district of Deggendorf.
 
Firefighters rescued a 90-year-old woman, immobile following recent surgery, from the rising waters.
 
In Passau, hit by nearly 40 feet of flooding, waters were receding and hundreds of troops helped clear mountains of mud and other debris from homes and offices.
 
In Austria, the Danube peaked at almost 26 feet at mid-morning Wednesday, flooding port areas and riverside restaurants in Vienna. But authorities said they expected the rest of the city to be spared.
 
In the in the upper Austrian town of Grein, flood waters peaked overnight and had begun to recede. “We were 14 centimetres from a disaster,” the town’s mayor told Austria’s Oe public radio.
 
In the Czech Republic, officials said five people were apprehended while looting in evacuated flood areas. Prague mayor Tomas Hudacek bemoaned “an excessive surge in flood tourists” amid reports that some people had  attempted to dismantle flood defenses to take home as souvenirs.
 
Slovakia reported its first drowning victim Wednesday. A body was found in the Danube near the Gabcikovo Dam in southern Slovakia, emergency services spokesman Jan Culka told TASR newswire.
 
In the Slovakian capital Bratislava, sightseers have flocked to the city center to watch the Danube’s rising waters. Flood defenses in the city were protecting the old town, but one district Devin has been cut off as water flooded an access road.
 
In Austria, Franziska Doerfel, 20, was rescued from rising waters as she was about to give birth.

Her daughter Lina Sophie dubbed the “Hochwasser  Baby” (“flood baby”) had to be delivered in an ambulance, the Heute daily reported.

© AFP 2017

   
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German, Czech, and Austrian cities near the Danube and Elbe rivers braced for more flooding Wednesday, mobilizing troops and firefighters and evacuating thousands of people after inundations from heavy rains left at least 12 people dead.
germany,austria,czech,flooding
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2013-20-05
Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 11:20 AM
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