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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 12:27 GMT 13:27 UK
Dozens dead across Europe
Switzerland Germany Czech Republic Russia Slovakia Austria Italy Romania

Click on the map above for details on the situation in the worst hit countries.

Around a 100 people are thought to have died in severe flooding in central Europe.

Several hundred thousand people have been moved into emergency accommodation while they wait for the waters to subside.

From Germany and Austria to Russia's Black Sea, summer storms have swollen rivers, pushed dams to breaking point and triggered landslides.

Austrian evacuees comfort each other with Red Cross help
Many Austrian families have lost their homes

The River Danube, now an angry brown torrent along much of its long route through Europe, is causing some of the most concern.

Troops and civilians have joined forces in a massive sandbagging operation along the Danube and other rivers.

Farmers have watched helplessly as crops and land were lost, and tens of thousands of people have been moved from their homes.


Nearly 60 people - most of them holidaymakers - were killed in flash floods last weekend at a holiday resort on Russia's Black Sea coast.

Fifteen others were missing, and Russia's Interfax news agency said up to 4,000 tourists were still trapped in the devastated coastal village of Shirokaya Balka.


Germany has been among the hardest hit countries.

At least 12 people are reported dead, most of them in the eastern province of Saxony, and six others are reported missing.

Sandbag emplacement in Germany
Hastily-built defences are being built to try to stem the flooding

In Dresden, water from burst banks on the river Elbe has submerged some of the city's historic squares and palaces.

The flood tide is advancing to new areas, and army helicopters have been airlifting hospital patients to other cities.

Thousands of people have been evacuated from Dresden, and other East German cities such as Chemnitz and Leipzig.

Authorities are expecting the waters to continue to pour northwards, and there are already reports that Brandenburg is under threat.

There are fears of an environmental disaster if the chemical plants at Bitterfeld, which lies on the river Mulde's path, is flooded.


Austrian authorities say the situation there is improving, with water levels falling and Vienna no longer threatened.

Earlier in the week, floods devastated parts of the country. Across the Salzburg region, more than 1,000 buildings have been flooded.

In the town of Krems, the Danube floodwaters rose so high that residents were urged to seek refuge on higher floors of their homes.

At crisis talks on Wednesday, the Austrian Government approved 650 million euros in compensation for flood victims. It is thought the damage will cost billions of euros to repair.

Czech Republic

Czech authorities are starting to assess the damage in Prague, with water levels easing after their Wednesday peak.

Efforts to shore up defences and prevent further damage to the city's historic buildings are continuing.

Around 40,000 Prague residents remain in emergency accommodation. Many are sleeping on school classroom floors.

France has sent two planes carrying emergency aid to the Czech capital.

At least 11 people died in the worst floods to hit the country in centuries.


Romania was hit by violent storms, including a tornado which killed a mother and her baby.

Homes were flattened as the storms swept through.


Italian farmers are counting the cost after hailstorms swept through northern and central areas of the country. The farmers' association Coldiretti says losses amount to 300 million euros.

Grapes and olives have been hit, as well as soft fruit and vegetables.


Switzerland has escaped the worst of the floods.

The river port of Basel was brought to a standstill after heavy rains swelled the Rhine river, but the port was reopened on Tuesday.


The Slovak capital, Bratislava, is facing huge floods, with the Danube at its highest levels in over a century.

A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday, and soldiers worked through the night to reinforce flood barriers.

The Slovak Interior Ministry has said it expects the Danube to continue rising until Friday, but is optimistic that flood defences will prevent major damage.

However, there have been widespread power cuts, and reports that some people have been travelling to work by boat.

European havoc

Germany ravaged

Prague drama

Freak phenomenon?


See also:

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