Written by 17:30 World

Floods Break Dams and Submerge Highways in Southern Germany

After a weekend of heavy rains, severe floods in regions of southern Germany led several towns to declare states of emergency and to evacuate their citizens from heavily affected areas. Water submerged streets and highways, broke dams and derailed a high-speed train. Even as rain let up on Monday, emergency crews rushed to fortify dams along rivers in anticipation of further flooding.

On Monday morning, a 43-year-old woman was found dead in her basement in the Neuburg-Schrobenhausen district in Bavaria, according to the local authorities. She had been missing since Saturday night.

Several hours later, responders who were pumping water out of a basement in Schorndorf in Baden-Württemberg found the bodies of a man and a woman, according to the police. On Saturday, a firefighter died trying to save people, according to the district he served; another firefighter has been missing since Saturday.

Tens of thousands of emergency workers, both local and from other regions, are responding to the disaster, which affected Germany’s two southern states, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The responders, who include 800 soldiers, have rescued people stranded in their houses and cars, built emergency dams and set up crisis accommodations.

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, visited the small market town of Reichertshofen, roughly 35 miles north of Munich, on Monday and said that the flooding represented a new reality as the effects of climate change are being felt in Central Europe.

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Last modified: 5 June 2024
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