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Chaos continues at German-Austrian border as thousands of refugees arrive overnight

Despite efforts to improve coordination between Germany and Austria, chaos has continued at the countries' border. Thousands of refugees are continuing to flood across the borders.

German police said on Thursday that several buses carrying asylum seekers had crossed the border late on Wednesday night. By midnight, some 8,150 asylum seekers had arrived in the whole of Bavaria.

Around 6,600 of those refugees arrived in the area of Passau, where emergency quarters for refugees were overfilled by Thursday afternoon.

Austrian authorities said that around 50 buses carrying approximately 3,000 refugees were destined for Passau. Recently, the actual number of vehicles and people crossing from Austria to Germany has been considerably more than German authorities were told beforehand.

Winter weather looms

Many of the refugees, among whom were children, had to endure the ever-deteriorating weather late into the night, until they were transported to accommodation. The last bus was transported to a refugee home at 3 a.m. local time (0200 UTC) on Thursday morning.

"People had to put up with the cold for much longer than we'd have liked," said Bavarian police officer Heinrich Onstein.

With temperatures reaching around freezing overnight, several people had to be treated for hypothermia.

Watch video 01:47

Authorities struggle with migrant influx

Last stop: Germany

Following their arrival late on Wednesday, more than 2,000 people were sent on special trains across Germany on Thursday, many of them ending their journey at refugee homes in Cologne, Hanover or Saalfeld.

The number of refugees crossing the German-Austrian border shows no sign of easing in the coming days, with even more asylum seekers expected to travel through the Balkans to reach Germany.

Since Hungary closed its border to Croatia earlier in October, more than 100,000 refugees have traveled the Balkan route via Slovenia. From here the asylum seekers head for the Austrian border, before continuing on to Germany.

ksb/jil (Reuters, dpa)

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