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Four dead as floods sweep southern Germany

In News, World
June 04, 2024

Rescuers battled to evacuate people from flooded areas in southern Germany that have claimed four lives, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz called it a “warning” that climate change was getting worse.

Thousands of people in the regions of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg had to leave their homes since torrential rain on Friday caused deadly flooding.

More evacuations were called overnight into Monday as the huge volumes of water caused flood defences to fail.

In Bavaria, about 800 people were asked to leave their homes in the area of Ebenhausen-Werk after a dam burst on Monday.

Residents around Manching-Pichl, in the area worst affected by the floods, were told to shelter on the upper floors of their homes.

Speaking on a visit to Reichertshofen in a flood-hit area north of Munich, Scholz said such floods were no longer a “one-off”.

“This is an indication that something is up here. We must not neglect the task of stopping man-made climate change,” Scholz told journalists.

The Bavarian state premier, Markus Soeder, who accompanied Scholz on his visit, said there was no “full insurance” against climate change.

About 20,000 people in Bavaria alone had been deployed to tackle the consequences of the flood, he said.

Police in Baden-Wuerttemberg on Monday said a man and a woman were found dead in the basement of their house in Schorndorf following the flood.

The same fate befell a 43-year-old woman in Schrobenhausen, Bavaria, whose body was found by rescuers earlier on Monday.

The discoveries took the total killed by the floods to at least four, following the death of a volunteer firefighter whose body was found on Sunday.

The 42-year-old volunteer died after his vessel turned over during a flood rescue operation.

Another volunteer, 22, was still missing after his boat overturned overnight into Sunday.

A search operation to find the missing rescue worker had to be stopped due to the exceptionally high waters and strong currents, local police said.

The German Weather Service on Monday issued new warnings for heavy rain in parts of southern and eastern Germany.

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