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Southern Germany saw once-in-a-century rainfall, initial data shows

In World
June 04, 2024

Several areas in southern Germany have experienced levels of rainfall in recent days that typically only occur once every 50 to 100 years, preliminary data from the German Meteorological Service (DWD) suggests.

Heavy rains and severe flooding in Germany’s two southernmost states have caused massive disruption for days, with tens of thousands of emergency service members in constant action since Friday evening.

Thousands of people were evacuated over the past few days, and more were set to leave their homes as southern Germany was pounded by severe rainfall causing rivers to swell.

At least four people have died in the floods and at least one firefighter is still missing.

DWD meteorologist Thomas Deutschländer said that the rainfall could be described as a once-in-a-century event, “certainly unusual, but not completely extraordinary.”

“It’s all a bit provisional, we still have to check the data,” Deutschländer said, adding that sometimes stations failed or the measurements were too low.

A total of about 20 to 30 measuring stations in southern Germany showed extremely high water levels. Some extreme values are related to precipitation on one day, while others are related to precipitation over three consecutive days, Deutschländer explained.

A protective wall is seen around the historic Wurstkuchl in Regensburg, as the Danube flood continues. For days, helpers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been battling the flood and its consequences. Armin Weigel/dpa

A protective wall is seen around the historic Wurstkuchl in Regensburg, as the Danube flood continues. For days, helpers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been battling the flood and its consequences. Armin Weigel/dpa

Helpers work on protective walls on the banks of the Danube river in Regensburg. For days, helpers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been battling the flood and its consequences. Armin Weigel/dpa

Helpers work on protective walls on the banks of the Danube river in Regensburg. For days, helpers in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have been battling the flood and its consequences. Armin Weigel/dpa

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