– German flood damage insurance claims may reach €3bn (The Guardian, June 11, 2013):
As water levels on the Elbe river appear to be stabilising, Fitch warns total cost of damage could be about €12bn
– Flood misery as surging Elbe breaches defenses in Germany (CNN, June 11, 2013):
Soldiers dropped huge sandbags from army helicopters Tuesday as part of efforts to stem devastating flooding in northern Germany after the swollen Elbe River breached flood defenses. A sea of muddy brown water has flowed through two broken dikes in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes.
The mighty Danube
Over the past 10 days, floods on the Elbe and other rivers including the Danube have also affected southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.
They are the worst since flooding in 2002 devastated the region.
The Czech Republic is now focused on draining the flood waters and cleanup efforts, Czech fire service spokeswoman Nicole Zaoralova said.
The crest on the Danube reached a record high in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, late Sunday, but the city’s flood defenses held and levels there are now dropping.
The river is expected to peak Tuesday in Paks in central Hungary, and a day later in Baja in southern Hungary.
Flood precautions are now under way in Serbia as the Danube starts to rise there, with some evacuations already taking place.
– Thousands more forced from home by Germany flooding (CNN, June 11 2013):
Floods continued to devastate communities alongside the surging River Elbe in Germany’s northeastern Saxony-Anhalt state Wednesday.
Hundreds of people are being evacuated from their homes in the towns of Stendal and Aken, with the army using helicopters and amphibious vehicles to help move them to safety.
“One-hundred-and-fifty people refused to be evacuated, but were forced to leave their homes by authorities,” a spokesman for Saxony-Anhalt’s Interior Ministry in Magdeburg said.
The evacuation process is still under way.
In total, 45,000 people have been asked to leave their homes in Saxony-Anhalt, the state currently worst affected by the flooding. About 11,500 rescue workers are operating in the area.
– German flood prevention still can’t prevent floods (Deutsche Welle, June 12, 2013)