• 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
Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims
Photo: DPA

Boy, 6, among Berlin train attack victims

Two vicious acts of violence on Berlin trains over the weekend have shocked passengers, with the youngest attack victim aged just six. READ  

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice
Gerst is waiting the arrival of the SpaceX Dragon which launched on Sunday. Photo: NASA TV/DPA

Gerst and crew get 3D printer and some mice

Alexander Gerst, Germany's man aboard the International Space Station (ISS), is at the ready to capture SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft with a cargo of supplies on Tuesday. READ  

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers
The seven trainers boarded their plane in Germany on Friday. Photo: DPA

Iraq denies entry to German military trainers

Seven German military trainers, who flew to Iraq on Friday to train Kurdish fighters battling Islamic extremists Isis, have been denied permission to enter the country. READ  

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son
Police searching the area after the TNT discovery in Nußdorf. Photo: DPA

Father, 75, tries to dynamite son

A Bavarian pensioner is being investigated on suspicion of attempted murder after planting 3.5kg of TNT in his son's garden, next door to his own home, police said on Monday. READ  

JobTalk Germany
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: DPA

How to become an au pair in Germany

It’s not quite as romantic as the Nanny Diaries, nor is it as magical as Mary Poppins. But being an au pair in Germany can be fun, as Emma Anderson finds out. READ  

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans
Merkel and Valls on Monday in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Merkel hails 'impressive' French reform plans

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls visited Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday, hoping to gain Germany's blessing for his revised economic reform programme. READ  

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'
Theo Zwanziger and one of the planned stadiums in Qatar. Photo: DPA

German Fifa exec: 'Qatar won't host World Cup'

Germany's top Fifa official said on Monday Qatar will not host the 2022 World Cup as planned, due to climate conditions. Qatar's successful bid to host the tournament has been marred by corruption and human rights concerns. READ  

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plans air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Amazon workers walk out again
Amazon workers striking in Graben, Bavaria, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Amazon workers walk out again

Four Amazon shipping centres in Germany were the target of fresh walkouts on Monday in a long-running wage dispute with the US online retail giant. READ  

Half of German navy helicopters grounded
A German navy Sea Lynx helicopter. Photo: DPA

Half of German navy helicopters grounded

Half of the German navy helicopter fleet has been grounded after engineers found large tears in the panelling of a British-made machine on deployment. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: DPA
Munich
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
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: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
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

3,324
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd