Southern Germany is exposed to catastrophic floods – DW – 06/01/2024

Residents of the south German Countries Bavaria And Baden-Württemberg They were urged to be extremely cautious on Saturday as dramatic evacuations took place across the region.

So far, a state of emergency has been declared in several regions and issued by the German Meteorological Service (DWD). Severe weather warnings In more than 10 regions, with more heavy rain expected during the next 24 to 48 hours.

German Interior Minister Nancy Weiser called on citizens in the affected area to pay attention to the authorities’ instructions and take them seriously.

“Timely warnings can save lives. Thank you to everyone working tirelessly to help!” She said.

Faeser also shared a post on X, formerly Twitter, by the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) saying that about 525 of its volunteers are working to bring people to safety in southern and southeastern Germany.

The German military also said it was providing support to relief efforts by bringing supplies and distributing blankets and camp beds.

Widespread disruption

Train service between the Bavarian capital, Munich, and Bregenz, Austria, as well as Zurich, Switzerland, was canceled on Saturday. Train travel between Munich and Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, was diverted, and services between Ulm and Augsburg were affected.

A 10-kilometre (6.2-mile) stretch of the A3 motorway near Bavaria-Regensburg was also closed in both directions on Saturday afternoon when water from nearby fields began flooding the road.

In Augsburg, Bavaria, a The dam and dam burstprompting emergency evacuations.

In Wiesschach, west of Munich, emergency services workers had to rescue residents stranded in their homes by helicopter when the local Schmater river overflowed. Other areas saw rescuers arriving by boat as floodwaters made roads impassable.

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Automotive association ADAC – known for its roadside assistance and Aviation for Life services – said on Saturday that all of its helicopters in southern Germany are currently being used to assist in evacuation and rescue efforts.

Helicopters from northern Germany were also on their way to the south, said director of air rescue services Jochen Oesterle. “We will be deploying our experienced crews,” he said.

As floodwaters rose, authorities ordered residents to evacuate, saying it was no longer safe to seek shelter in the upper floors and attics of homes. Photo: Michael Billmeier/Bellmayer Photography/Imago

Thousands were asked to evacuate

Evacuations began in the area on Friday evening, as a residential building in Lindau, Bavaria, was evacuated as a precaution. A city spokeswoman said water had reached the building, increasing the risk of a short circuit.

Residents of the building were then bussed to a nearby gymnasium, where they spent the night.

In the Lake Constance region of Baden-Württemberg, about 1,300 people were also asked to leave their homes due to… Flood risk.

In the city of Memmingen, authorities were forced to evacuate a government prison after plumbing began to fail as floodwater seeped into the complex. Prison services said nearly 100 inmates from the facility – 80 men and 20 women – had been temporarily transferred to nearby prisons in Landsberg, Kempten and Eichach, noting that it could be weeks before they return to Memmingen.

Authorities in Diedorf, near Augsburg, told residents it was no longer enough to simply move to the upper floors of their homes, and ordered them to leave as floodwaters continued to rise.

Neither weather is suitable for humans nor animals: farmers and emergency workers make their way through Gunz, Bavaria, as they try to move livestock to higher ground Photo: Bernd Marz/Imago

In Wessensteeg, Baden-Württemberg, residents were ordered to boil water before consumption after floodwaters inundated local water treatment facilities.

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Fire departments across southern Germany urged residents in affected areas to avoid basements, underground parking facilities and tunnels as well as advising against trying to drive or walk through flooded areas.

Bavarian state Premier Markus Söder said on Saturday that the “extremely stressful” situation was “not over yet. It has only just begun.” Souder thanked emergency services workers from the police, the Red Cross, fire departments and beyond, saying: “Without these helpers, we would be lost.” He also appealed to citizens to “follow the rules.”

Although Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg had the most It was directly affected, with continued heavy rain and thunderstorms On Saturday, the eastern states of Saxony and Thuringia began to witness stormy weather, with heavy rain expected. Many major events in the area have been canceled as a precaution.

js,rmt/kb,ab (AFP, dpa)

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