• Germany edition
 
German Flood Disaster
North bears brunt of deadly floods
Photo: DPA

North bears brunt of deadly floods

Published: 11 Jun 2013 12:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Jun 2013 12:29 GMT+02:00

Swollen rivers in the German states of Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein posed the biggest threat after flood waters caused billions of euros in damage and left at least 19 people dead across Europe.

Two burst dykes on Monday alleviated some of the pressure on other fortifications up the Elbe River but around 9,000 soldiers were deployed in Saxony-Anhalt in the centre of the country to ensure they held.

And in Schleswig-Holstein in the north, fears focused on the town of Lauenburg, 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Hamburg, where the Elbe was expected to peak on Thursday.

There the river has already reached a level of 9.56 metres, more than double the normal. The old quarter of the town saw its power cut and some 400 people had to be evacuated.

Downriver the Elbe stabilised as towns and cities remained in a state of alert, particularly in Magdeburg, the capital of Saxony-Anhalt, where more than 20,000 have had to seek emergency shelter.

Meanwhile Hungarians breathed a sigh of relief as the level of the Danube continued to fall, to 8.59 metres at 0500 GMT Tuesday from 8.81 metres on Monday.

Travel restrictions in Budapest were expected to remain in place for another week but a key bridge linking Hungary to Slovakia reopened to traffic.

Chancellor Angela Merkel made her third trip to the German disaster region on Monday and praised the "impressive" work of volunteers to keep the muddy waters at bay.

Economy Minister Philipp Rösler said Tuesday the government would establish an aid fund for stricken residents and businesses using a model established after "worst-in-a-century" floods in 2002.

"That was a success," he told Berlin's Inforadio, saying the amount of the new fund would be determined after the floods had passed and the cost of the damage had been tallied.

He had told rolling news channel NTV on Monday that those affected could expect a payout of 50 percent of their assessed damage.

Merkel, who is just over three months away from a general election, is to meet Germany's 16 state leaders Thursday to discuss recovery efforts.

Meanwhile a staple of the German diet, the potato, looked to be another victim of the flooding as the fruit and vegetable industry association (BOGK) warned that a meagre harvest could drive up prices.

"It is not unlikely that there could be a shortage of French fries, dumplings and chips," BOGK managing director Horst-Peter Karos told the daily Bild.

AFP/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Four arrested in raids against Isis
Photo: DPA

Four arrested in raids against Isis

Police raided 15 homes across Germany over the weekend and arrested four suspected supporters of the Islamic State (Isis). They are alleged to have smuggled a teenager and thousands of winter military clothes to the terrorist group's frontlines. READ  

Munich Refugee Crisis
'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'
Hassan, pictured outside the Bayernkaserne with two of his children, arrived in Munich from Syria. Photo: Mariane Schroeder

'There's no room but we have nowhere else to go'

Around 300 refugees are arriving in Munich each day, but accommodation centres are full. With authorities struggling for answers, The Local meets those at the sharp end of the crisis. READ  

Train Strike
Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return
Photo: DPA

Buses up prices, football fans brawl, trains return

UPDATE: Deutsche Bahn trains are chugging along again after a 50-hour train strike cost the service ²tens of millions² and brought travel headaches across the country, leaving millions of passengers struggling for transportation over the weekend as well as at least one mass brawl in its tracks. READ  

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only
Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt. Photo: DPA

Foreigner toll to hit motorways only

Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt plans to limit his road toll for foreigners initially to motorways only, Spiegel reported on Sunday. READ  

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open
The damaged bank branch. Photo: DPA

Criminals blow Berlin Sparkasse wide open

Criminals robbed a Berliner Sparkasse bank branch early on Sunday morning - using a bomb. READ  

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry
French Economy and Finance Ministers Emmanuel Macron (l) and Michel Sapin. Photo: DPA

French retread path to Berlin finance ministry

French and German ministers are due to meet on Monday to discuss ways of boosting growth in Europe's two biggest economies, as Paris called on Berlin to step up investment. READ  

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours
Grounded. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa pilots to strike for 35 hours

UPDATE: Pilots' union Cockpit has called a new 35-hour walkout at Lufthansa starting Monday, hours after a weekend-long rail strike finished. READ  

German dies after trying to take ravine photos
Photo: File photo/Shutterstock

German dies after trying to take ravine photos

A German student has died after falling into a steep ravine at a waterfall on a popular Malaysian resort island, police said on Sunday. READ  

Academic makes Twitter splash saying 'Nein'
File photo. DPA

Academic makes Twitter splash saying 'Nein'

Former Ivy League professor of German Eric Jarosinski has become a Twitter phenomenon developing a huge social media following thanks in no small part to saying no in German. READ  

Klopp slams Dortmund as slump continues
Jurgen Klopp looks downcast as Borussia Dortmund suffer another defeat. Photo: DPA

Klopp slams Dortmund as slump continues

Jurgen Klopp slammed his Borussia Dortmund side after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Cologne made it five Bundesliga games without a win ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash at Galatasaray. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
How to get hired at a Berlin startup
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
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

3,436
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd