• Germany edition
 
Merkel to tour areas devastated by floods
Photo: DPA

Merkel to tour areas devastated by floods

Published: 03 Jun 2013 06:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Jun 2013 16:12 GMT+02:00

Merkel - facing general elections in less than four months - will go to an as yet unannounced region on Tuesday to get her "own impression of the situation, of the aid operations, also of the precautions for protecting people and their property," Steffen Seibert told a regular government news conference.

An emergency task force is being set up with input from the interior, defence and finance ministries, he added.

Torrential rain across central Europe has hit many parts of eastern and southern Germany, especially the region of Bavaria, where large parts of the city of Passau in particular have been flooded.

The southern city which has a historic old town and is the point where the Danube is joined by the rivers Inn and Ilz saw the water rise above the levels of the disastrous 1954 floods, officials said.

Two people have died, two more are missing and thousands have been evacuated from their homes as widespread flooding ravages parts of Germany. Over 1,700 soldiers are helping those in particularly badly hit south and south-eastern areas.

Several cities and regions announced a state of emergency over the weekend in response to quickly rising waters. The states of Bavaria, Thuringia and Saxony were worst hit, with washed out roads and flooded towns.

Two people are missing in Baden-Württemberg, where the Neckar river burst its banks and reportedly swept them into the Echaz tributary.

A cyclist was one of the first victims of the flooding, which began last week. She was swept away by a river near Hannover. A 32-year-old man also drowned in a ditch after leaving a pub in Utting am Ammersee, Bavaria.

At least 1,760 soldiers are out helping in areas worse affected.

Click here for the a photo gallery of the floods.

Evacuation efforts were underway in Greiz and Zwickau, as the authorities in Chemnitz anxiously watched the river break its banks. The state premier of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, called off an official trip to Turkey to oversee the response to the disaster.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday said the affected areas could count on “full support” from the federal authorities in dealing with the floods.

A mountain lake lock burst in the Berchtesgaden region, causing the water to race into a sparsely populated valley below.

And Rosenheim’s Mangfall River could also rise to record levels, according to a city spokesman. Several districts there have already been evacuated.

In Saxony-Anhalt the situation was also critical along the Saale and Weiße Elster rivers. “Things are particularly dramatic near Wetterzeube,” said state premier Reiner Haseloff on Sunday. The Weiße Elster there could see the worst flooding since 1924.”

The high water has also halted shipping traffic on large sections of the Rhine, Main and Neckar rivers. Trains in southern and lower Bavaria are disrupted, including a main connection between Munich and Salzburg, Austria.

DPA/AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Europeans descended from three tribes
The skull of a farmer from Stuttgart examined for the study. Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen

Europeans descended from three tribes

German researchers have traced the origins of modern Europeans to a migratory melting pot of three ancient tribes dating back 8,000 years. READ  

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid
The pyramids at Giza. Photo: DPA

Germans return 'stolen' parts of Great Pyramid

Fragments of the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were allegedly stolen by German archaeologists last year, have been returned to Egypt from Germany. But the case against those who allegedly took the samples is continuing. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents

There are 14 "tents" at Munich's Oktoberfest, all with their own uniqueness and theme. In the second of The Local's four-part guide to the world's biggest beer festival, we look at some of the best ones. READ  

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg

A school trip was cancelled after just one day when two teachers got so drunk while they were supposed to be looking after pupils in Hamburg that police had to be called. READ  

Where to find the speed cameras today
Photo: DPA

Where to find the speed cameras today

Police deployed 13,000 officers across Germany on Thursday to catch speeding drivers in a so called "Blitzmarathon". Here is where the radar guns are. READ  

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes
The area of the town centre evacuated. Photo: Lüneberg Stadt

US WWII bomb forces 11,000 from homes

Thousands of people in the centre of an historic town in central Germany had to leave their homes late on Wednesday evening after a 250kg bomb was found. READ  

Who is listening to Berlin's music?
Photo: DPA

Who is listening to Berlin's music?

A study by music-streaming service Spotify has revealed the global reach of Berlin-born music, with genres originating in the capital finding a loyal audience in some unlikely places. READ  

Champions League
Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City
Jerome Boateng with Bayern trainer Pep Guardiola on Wednesday night. Photo: DPA

Boateng delivers Bayern 1-0 win over Man City

A superb strike by Jerome Boateng with a minute remaining earned Bayern Munich a dramatic 1-0 victory against Manchester City in their opening Champions League game of the season on Wednesday. Chelsea, meanwhile, were held by Schalke. READ  

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight
A man walks past an Ebola information mural in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo: DPA

Merkel promises help for Liberia in Ebola fight

Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised that Germany will send help to Liberia to tackle the Ebola crisis in response to a personal appeal by the country's president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. READ  

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession
Justice Minister Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Cabinet clamps down on child image possession

People caught in possession of indecent images of children will face tougher prison sentences, the government announced on Wednesday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: DPA
Tech
Netflix launches in Germany (in English too)
Photo: DPA
Politics
These men want to be the next mayor of Berlin
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA/ESA
Tech
VIDEO: How one German astronaut sees Earth
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
12 things to do in Berlin for less than a latte
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,363
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd