Magdeburg sees heavy flooding | News | DW | 09.06.2013
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Magdeburg sees heavy flooding

Flooding has reached the eastern German city of Madeburg, with water levels above those of 2002's "flood of the century." More than 3,000 people have already left their homes for emergency shelters.

Im Magdeburger Stadtteil Rothensee spitzte sich die Lage im Laufe des Samstagnachmittags dramtisch zu - die Ortschaft droht in den Fluten zu versinken. Neuralgischer Punkt: Das Umspannwerk droht voll Wasser zu laufen. Soldaten der Bundeswehr auf dem Weg zum Helfen

Magdeburg Hochwasser Soldaten

Water levels in Magdeburg reached 7.45 meters early Sunday morning, more than 70 centimeters above levels reached during the last catastrophic floods in 2002. That year, the maximum level reached by the Elbe river was 6.72 meters.

A water level of about two meters is normal around Magdeburg, the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt.

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New peak for German floods

Other areas of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt are facing similar threats of extreme high water. Overnight, a rapid convergence of flood waters from the Saale and Elbe rivers caused a significant increase to the amount of water flowing toward towns downstream.

The city of Magdeburg set up emergency shelters for citizens who have been forced to leave their homes.

"We need to be ready for everything," said the city's mayor, Lutz Trümper.

German President Joachim Gauck traveled to parts of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt that have been affected by the flooding on Sunday. In those two states, 8,000 soldiers from the German armed forces, the Bundeswehr, have been called into action to help with flood-fighting measures. Soldiers have also been deployed to other parts of the country to help with sandbagging efforts of evacuations.

The Sunday edition of the Leipzige Volkszeitung newspaper carried a story citing government sources saying the government would hold a flood crisis summit this week to discuss how the massive costs associated with the damage from the flooding are to be shared between federal and state authorities.

Gerde Hasselfeldt, a parliamentarian from Bavaria's Christian Social Union, told the newspaper that due to the large sums involved, some government plans may have to be put on hold temporarily.

Preliminary estimates suggest the national cost of this year's floods may exceed those of 2002, which stood at roughly 11 billion euros ($14.5 billion).

mz,dr/rc (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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