• 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

Deadly floods forging a path of devastation through central Europe for more than a week bore down on northern Germany Tuesday as troops raced to bolster sodden dykes.

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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final
Members of the German Fed Cup Team celebrate after an earlier victory in the tournament. Photo: DPA

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. READ () »

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car
Sniffing out the money. Photo: DPA

Customs find smuggled cash in every third car

The number of Germans smuggling large amounts of cash across the Swiss border into Germany rose dramatically last year. Customs officers said on Thursday they made a find in almost every third car they checked. READ () »

Crystal meth use hits record level
Crystal meth seized in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

Crystal meth use hits record level

Consumption of crystal meth in Germany appears to have reached a record level, according to government figures published on Thursday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,104
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd