Floods Yet to Reach Their Peak in Germany
MUNICH, Germany—After nearly two weeks of nonstop heavy rains, Germany is experiencing the worst flooding in a decade.
Much of the flooding has centered around the rivers Elbe and Danube, with water levels in the Elbe continuing to rise.
The swollen Elbe river is currently flowing downstream to the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It already flowed past the historic city of Dresden, leaving areas flooded and damaged.
German officials are expecting water levels to reach their peak Sunday.
In some places the water has risen as much as 22 feet above normal levels, leaving houses and buildings flooded.
In Bavaria, the city of Passau suffered serious flooding, as it is located on the cross roads of three rivers, one of which is the mighty Danube. The damages are estimated at 30 million euro ($39 million)and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already promised to help the city financially to recuperate from the flooding crisis.
The Champion League and German Cup football champion Bayern Munich have volunteered to host a fund-raising game in Passau to help flood victims.
“Our team in particular has received so much support and solidarity from the population in recent weeks and months that, in light of the dramatic images from the flood-affected areas, we now want to give something back and play in a fund-raising game to help the victims of the flooding catastrophe,” said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of Bayer Munich, told German media.
The German government has offered 100 million euro ($129 million) to help the damaged areas. In 2002 Germany had the last serious floods that brought damages worth of 11 billion euros ($14 billion).
Seven people lost their lives in Germany so far and another ten people died in other flooded countries in Europe. Hundreds of thousands have lost their housing and still more are waiting for the floods to reach their homes within a few days.
The Danube has already ravaged Germany and Austria and now it is racing towards the Hungarian capital Budapest. The city’s mayor, Istvan Tarlos, expects the water levels to rise to a maximum of 30 feet, but thinks the flood defenses are substantial enough to block the water. Around 55,000 houses have been evacuated along the river in Hungary.