5 Jun 2013

Army mobilised to help in flooded German regions

9:38 pm on 5 June 2013

Thousands of German troops have been sent to help flood-hit regions as rising rivers threaten more cities.

Surging waters that have already caused extensive damage across central Europe are moving north and east along rivers including the Elbe and Danube.

Around 4000 German troops have been deployed in four states, the military said, reinforcing dykes with sandbags and providing help to thousands of people forced to leave their homes, the BBC reports.

The latest cities to be hit include Meissen on the Elbe, while nearby Dresden is preparing for water levels five metres higher than normal.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has visited areas already hit by the deluge and promised €100 million in emergency aid.

Meanwhile the worst appears to be over for the Czech capital, Prague, where it had been feared that the floods would engulf the historic city centre.

Many residential areas are still underwater and the metro system is closed, but the risk of further flooding appears to be receding.

In the Czech Republic, however, thousands of people have left their homes where a surge of water after days of rain is threatening to overwhelm flood barriers.

Some towns are already underwater and there are warnings the defences could be breached within hours on Wednesday.