• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Death toll rises as floods roll northward

The Local · 12 Jun 2013, 17:57

Published: 12 Jun 2013 17:57 GMT+02:00

The 61-year-old man was working on an electrical appliance while water was being pumped out of his cellar. His death is the third flood-related fatality in the eastern German state. His traumatized wife was taken to the hospital.

The authorities brought 150 people to safety in Stendal, Saxony-Anhalt overnight after a breached dyke near Fischbeck allowed the floodwaters to gush towards their homes. "Despite several attempts to save the place, it just wasn't possible," said an emergency services spokeswoman.

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

The river had already risen more than double the normal. The old quarter of the town had its power cut and some 400 people had to seek higher ground. Some streets were already submerged in 30 centimetres of water, according to local official.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to survey the situation in Lauenburg and in nearby Hitzacker later in the day.

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.

Rail traffic between Berlin and cities in the west has been redirected due to submerged tracks and the closure of a bridge in Saxony-Anhalt in the centre of the country, leading to delays of up to two hours on some routes.

The authorities have yet to publish an official figure on the cost of the deluge but a private ratings agency said the figure could surpass €12 billion ($16 billion) in Germany alone.

Story continues below…

The German Agricultural Association said sodden fields, destroyed crops and damaged equipment brought losses of €405 million, according to a preliminary estimate published Tuesday. Around 305,000 hectares (750,000 acres) of fertile farmland were submerged as the floodwaters worked their way north, with Saxony-Anhalt in the centre of the country seeing about one-third of the total damage.

Officials in Bavaria, which experienced the worst of the flooding last week, said the brown waters had wiped out around 60 percent of the vegetable harvest.

AFP/DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,751
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd