Floodwaters rise in eastern Germany

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A local citizen tries to get closer to a house in the flooded river Danube in Domos village, 42-kilometers west from Hungarian capital Budapest on Saturday (Sunday in Manila). AFP PHOTO

BUDAPEST: Floodwaters rose in eastern Germany on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), forcing the evacuation of homes and a hospital, as Hungary propped up its defenses against central Europe’s worst floods in a decade.

The Danube had reached a record level at Budapest by mid-day.

Elsewhere, the Austrian interior ministry confirmed that four people had been killed and two were still missing, raising the death toll in Europe from the past week’s floods to at least 18, including 10 in the Czech Republic, which has warned of renewed flood risks.

Legions of soldiers and volunteers worked through the night to reinforce dykes and repair leaks in eastern Germany and in Hungary.

Throughout the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes as water levels on the Elbe river—already at record levels in the past few days—continued to rise by some two centimeters every two hours, according to officials.

In Bitterfeld, patients had to be removed from a hospital as a dyke threatened to burst, and in the nearby medieval city of Magdeburg, flooded roads forced the evacuations of several old people’s homes.

In Muehlberg, a town in Brandenburg state that was already evacuated in the last few days, the situation remained “very tense,” said local police spokeswoman Ines Filohn.

Some 900 soldiers and volunteers overnight there had to build an emergency road so hundreds of trucks could gain easier access to a dyke that needed to be reinforced.

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