Two dead as flooding hits German states of Saxony and Bavaria

Two dead as flooding hits German states of Saxony and Bavaria
View on the river Salzach, after heavy rainfall and flood caused damage in Berchtesgaden, South-eastern Bavaria, Germany, on July 18th, 2021. UWE LEIN / AFP
Two people have died and many others moved to safety in one Bavarian district as parts of the southern state and Saxony are battered by the heavy rain and flooding that is also devastating parts of western Europe.

The Berchtesgadener Land district in Upper Bavaria declared a state of emergency late Saturday afternoon following torrential rain which led to widespread flooding, Germany’s Tageschau reported on Sunday.

There were two fatalities, although one died of natural causes that could have been related to the storm, and 130 people had to be evacuated to safety.

Within this district, the municipalities of Berchtesgaden, Bischofswiesen, Schönau am Königssee, Marktschellenberg and Ramsau were particularly badly affected with landslides and rivers breaching their banks and flooding streets, while the Scheffau area of Marktschellenberg was completely cut off from the outside world.

The fire brigade were out in force to make areas safe and start clear-up operations.

They had been called out some 500 times and there were 890 helpers working in the area currently, according to Tagesschau.

Firefighters clean debris and mud after heavy rainfall and flood caused major damage in Marktschellenberg, South-eastern Bavaria, Germany, on July 18th, 2021.(Photo by UWE LEIN / AFP)

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“Emergency calls are coming in all the time,” a police spokesperson in the south-eastern city of Rosenheim said, Tageschau reported.

Pictures showed dramatic scenes of streets that had turned into wild rivers and people wading knee-deep through the waters.

Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder and Bavarian Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann were planning to travel to the flooded areas in South-East Bavaria on Sunday afternoon, according to government sources.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was also visiting flood-ravaged areas in Germany the same day to survey the damage and meet survivors.

READ ALSO:  Merkel to visit flood zone as western Europe death toll tops 180

Heavy rainfall has also caused severe flooding in parts of the eastern German state of Saxony making several areas of Saxon Switzerland completely inaccessible.

According to the Saxon Flood Centre, it rained more than 100 litres per square metre in 24 hours in the catchment area of the towns of Kirnitzsch and Sebnitz, causing many rivers to swell rapidly.

Neustadt, Sebnitz, Bad Schandau, Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna and Gohrisch were particularly badly affected, according to the district administration of Saxon Switzerland-Osterzgebirge.

Flooding has been severe in the west of the country, too. At least 156 people have died since Wednesday in Germany’s worst flooding in living memory, police said.


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