Deadly floods wreak havoc in Ger­many, France

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

SIM­BACH AM INN, GER­MANY—At least nine peo­ple have been killed in floods that have wreaked havoc in Ger­many and France, trap­ping peo­ple in their homes and forc­ing res­cuers to row lifeboats down streets turned into muddy rivers.

In Paris, of­fi­cials were putting up emer­gency flood bar­ri­ers on Thurs­day along the swollen river Seine af­ter days of tor­ren­tial rain—in­clud­ing near the Lou­vre, home to price­less works of art.

The force of the wa­ter swept away the en­tire stock of a sawmill in the Ger­man town of Sim­bach am Inn, leav­ing huge stacks of splin­tered wood block­ing the streets of the dev­as­tated town.

On one street, passers-by were greeted by the sur­real sight of a car parked ver­ti­cally against the wall of a house, pushed there by the flood­wa­ters. Many other ve­hi­cles lay flipped over in roads blan­keted by mud.

The dead in Sim­bach in­clude three women from the same fam­ily— a mother, grand­mother and daugh­ter—who had been trapped in their house.

“The wa­ter was so quick that prac­ti­cally no res­i­dents had the time to run away,” po­lice spokesman Ar­min An­glo­her said.

Po­lice said a man’s body had also been found in a house in Sim­bach, while an 80-year-old woman was found dead in Jul­bach a few kilo­me­tres away. Her house had col­lapsed un­der the weight of the flood­wa­ters.

The deaths bring the toll from the floods to nine, in­clud­ing four oth­ers were killed ear­lier this week in the south­ern Ger­man re­gion of Baden-Wuert­tem­berg re­gion.

Four oth­ers are miss­ing, a po­lice spokesman in Bavaria state told AFP.

“We fear the worst,” he said, adding that divers have been sent to search for the vic­tims.

Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel told a press con­fer­ence: “I am cry­ing for the peo­ple who have lost their lives in these floods. I am by the side of fam­i­lies who have been plunged into this dev­as­ta­tion.”

Some towns in cen­tral France are suf­fer­ing their worst floods in more than a cen­tury, with more than 5,000 peo­ple evac­u­ated since the week­end.

Fore­caster Me­teo France de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as “ex­cep­tional, worse than the floods of 1910”, when even cen­tral Paris was flooded. Some 24,400 homes were with­out power in the Paris re­gion and the Loiret, provider Enedis said, while the floods forced the shut­down of one of the cap­i­tal’s main com­muter train lines.

The tor­ren­tial rains have also hit the French Open tennis tour­na­ment, wash­ing out play ear­lier in the week, leav­ing play­ers hop­ing to reach the fi­nals fac­ing a heavy sched­ule of matches. In cen­tral Paris, river­side tourist paths were flooded, and the wa­ter was wash­ing around a replica of the Statue of Lib­erty.

Res­cuers in the Paris sub­urb of Longjumeau were pad­dling up streets in lifeboats, while in the town of Mon­tar­gis, only the tops of cars could be seen peak­ing above the sur­face.

About 200 peo­ple had to spend the night in a gym­na­sium in Ne­mours south of Paris and Prime Min­is­ter Manuel Valls, vis­it­ing the flooded town’s a cri­sis con­trol cen­tre, said at least 2,000 more peo­ple needed to be evac­u­ated .“The sit­u­a­tion re­mains tense and dif­fi­cult in sev­eral ar­eas. We still have many con­cerns.”

French fire­fight­ers on small boats evac­u­ate res­i­dents from a flooded area af­ter heavy rain­fall in Ne­mours, France.

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