Germany’s deadly floods spread along the Danube

Image source, MICHAELA STACHE/EPP

Image caption, The water level in Passau has risen almost 10 meters and the Danube has burst its banks

  • Author, Paul Kirby
  • Role, BBC news

Floodwaters continue to rise in parts of southern Germany and are now spreading along the Danube into Austria and Hungary.

It is now known that five people have died since heavy rains caused rivers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg to burst their banks.

One of the victims was a woman who died when her car left the road and became flooded west of Munich. A Bavarian firefighter is missing.

Although the German DWD weather service has declared an end to the heavy rain that has been battering southern Germany for days, the water level in the historic city of Passau, where three rivers meet, has now risen almost 10 meters, the highest level in more than 200 year. than a decade.

River levels on the Danube have also risen in Austria and Hungary.

The Danube burst its banks in Austria’s third-largest city, Linz, flooding areas close to the riverbanks.

Local resident Gertrude told the Kurier website that the flooding brought back bad memories of August 2002, when a fifth of the city was under water.

The river reached a height of 6.86 meters on Tuesday morning and was expected to peak in the afternoon.

Image source, MICHAELA STACHE/EPP

Image caption, The water level in Passau was expected to continue rising for several hours

In the Lower Austria area, all river traffic along the Danube was brought to a standstill.

In Hungary, forecasters warned of significant rainfall over the next three days and Gabriella Siklos of the National Water Directorate warned that the situation would change by the hour.

There were also concerns that rising water levels would spread to the Danube floodplains in Slovakia.

Freight traffic on the Rhine is still at a standstill in some parts of southern Germany, although authorities in Baden-Württemberg in the southwest say water levels will fall in the coming days.

Image source, Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Image caption, River traffic on the Rhine has suffered severely

Heavy rain has been falling in much of southern Germany for days and a state of emergency has been declared in the Rosenheim region of Bavaria.

Three people have now died in Bavaria, and on Monday a man and a woman were found dead in their basement in Baden-Württemberg. A 22-year-old firefighter is missing in Bavaria.

Bavarian State Prime Minister Markus Söder has described the situation as “serious and critical”.

In some parts of southern Germany, experts spoke of once-in-a-century rainfall levels.

Cars were swept away and residential areas were flooded, although all severe weather warnings in southern Germany had been lifted by Tuesday morning.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said the floods in the south are a reminder that “stopping man-made climate change” cannot be neglected.

Image source, ANNA SZILAGYI/EPA-EFE/REX