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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Are you affected by extreme weather?
A boy standing at the gate of a destroyed house in Ivesti, Romania
Have you been affected by the extreme weather sweeping Europe?

Thousands of people across central and eastern Europe have been severely affected by devastating floods which have killed at least 42 people so far.

In Switzerland, heavy rain triggered landslides and disrupted transport. Floods have also hit towns in Austria and southern Germany and continue to affect Bulgaria and Romania.

Meanwhile in Portugal, firefighters have battled for days to control wildfires which have been blazing out of control, with their efforts being hampered by high temperatures and dry weather.

Tell us your experiences of the floods and the fires in Europe using the form on the right.

Do you have any pictures of the floods or the fires? If so, you can send them to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Reader's before and after images of a swollen river, Switzerland

The Isar river in Munich is a raging torrent and is expected to peak today (Thursday). The locals are clearly worried and are gathering on the old bridge in Munich, nervously watching the Isar as it continues to rise.
Mike Tomlinson, Munich, Germany

The bridge to my parents house has been completely washed away, the main road devastated with no traffic possible. The inhabitants of the village are cut off, with the military sending in helicopters providing them with emergency relief. My parents are staying with relatives higher up the mountain in fear that their house might slip on a mudslide.
Ingrid Ladner, Kappl, Tirol / Vienna

We have just returned today (Wednesday) London from Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland. On Monday there was a power cut at 8.25pm that also affected Wengen and Murren. That knocked out all the local rail and cable cars. There were limited generators providing some power but when we left on Wednesday morning the power was still off. The railway line from Lauterbrunen has been cut with a bridge swept away and the line covered with mud. The road opened on Wednesday. Travelling from Lauterbrunnen to Interlaken there was evidence of the power of the floods. The road was barely passable in places and many parts of the railway line has disappeared into the river.

Further down the valley there were large amounts of mud spread across fields and in houses. The army were hosing away the mud and we saw Swiss Railway staff shovelling away mud at the stations. The rail link between Interlaken and Spiez has been severely damaged by the floods and we could see it was still covered by water. There were no rail services in east or west from Interlaken and only a coach service to Spiez. However, there were insufficient coaches and there were around 150-200 people waiting to get out of Interlaken. It was quite chaotic with elderly tourists unable to push their way on to the coach. Local taxi firms wanted 700SFR to take people to Spiez - around 25km away. Tourists in Wengen were being brought down by helicopter and we were told by an English couple that they were charged 130 SFR for the journey. In Lauterbrunnen the enterprising local butcher set up a gas bar-b-q to sell sausages before they went off and had an appreciative queue.
Neil Martinson, London

I believe the extreme weather is caused by disruptions in the magnetic field. Just watch the sun and you will be able to predict a period of extreme weather on earth.
Andrew Heermans, United States

How odd. People writing about travel disruption trying to navigate flooded roads in cars....the very thing that is causing the environmental disaster!
Abdulfez, Tokyo, Japan

I don't know what the death toll is, but I saw cars, lorries and even a bus floating down the river
William McNeill, Vence, Francee
There seems to have been little or no reporting of the problems in Bulgaria. I returned from two weeks holiday there just over a week ago. Apparently it is still raining there. During my stay I was trapped for several days in Sofia. Bridges have been washed away along with roads, and railway lines. I don't know what the death toll is, but I saw cars, lorries and even a bus floating down the river. Many other roads are out due to landslides and many people are homeless. Unfortunately, it is a very poor country and most people who live in the countryside have no notion of insurance and wouldn't be able to pay for it anyway - they really have lost everything.
William McNeill, Vence, France

On Tuesday a friend and I left Interlocken at 6am thinking we would get to Vienna without a hitch. It should have been an 11 hour train ride with one switch, it turned into a 19 hour ordeal switching 3 trains and 2 buses, spending time in traffic and gazing at countless rivers and streams raging with debris a plenty.
Danny, San Jose, California

The city centre has not been directly affected, although both rivers that run through the centre of the city, the Sihl and the Limmat have risen dramatically since Sunday. The Sihl which flows underneath the Hauptbahnhof, and is usually shallow enough to paddle in, was yesterday a raging torrent, which was clearly filled with sediment. Limmat on the other hand, was less dramatic, still much higher than usual and flowing considerably faster.
Alec Bickerton, Zurich, Switzerland

We're just waiting for the high water from the rain in the Alps to hit. The town I live in is 30kms downstream from Munich and we have been on flood alert since late this afternoon. The Isar River which flows from the Alps through Munich to the Danube broke its banks at about 8pm last night and started filling the first 'flood plains'. There are major concerns that it will continue to rise at what looks to be about 10cms+ per hour. As we live at river level behind a large bund and the railway line, I just hope they keep it at bay.
Graeme Black, Freising, Germany

My home has some 30cm of water running through it and me and my wife have been forced to move in with some relatives. Most worrying of all is the absence of our cat, Treize. She has not been seen for two days.
Wolf Krieten, Bern, Switzerland

I live in a new development (2004) between 2 streams that flooded, we have an underground garage that didn't flood. I think the architects that designed the houses should be given an award.
V, Switzerland

My son is on holiday in Lauterbrunnen. The electricity supply in Lauterbrunnen has been cut off for the last 24 hours, and has only just come back on. Lauterbrunnen is cut off from Interlaken, and the flooded River Luetschine has also cut off access to the upper end of the Lauterbrunned valley. He says that road and rail access to Interlaken is also cut off.
Nick, Leeds, UK

At 4.50am sirens woke up the entire city of Lucerne
Thomas Weishaupt, Zurich, Switzerland
Working partly in Lucerne City centre just besides the lake, we are observing the rising water level and moving expensive equipment to safer grounds as lakeside walls start to leak. At 4.50am sirens woke up the entire city of Lucerne, though it was a wrong alert. Water levels continued to rise by centimetres and are expected to stabilize soon, almost reaching the highest recorded water marks of 1910. Luckily most damage is well insured.
Thomas Weishaupt, Zurich, Switzerland

After the terrible amount of rain during whole summer this was expected. Train lines are closed, trees on the roads and it looks very messy. What to say, avoid Slovenia if you want to have your last summer days spent nice.
Jure, Sevnica, Slovenia

Last night driving from Dubrovnik to Split, we were caught in mid-storm. Torrential rains scattering debris and rocks made the coastline drive a harrowing experience. Roads became rivers and most drivers just stopped dead until it was safe to continue. The mess left by the storms will take a while to clear.
Natasha Kempster, Split Croatia

The Germans are amazing - everything is very well organized and coordinated. We went for a walk late last night and were really impressed at how thoroughly the local authorities were preparing for the rising waters. Bundeswehr equipment and search-and-rescue helicopters were already here last night, as were emergency divers, the Red Cross, the police, and sand bag supplies. We can't get out of the town and no one can come in, but the local community has really pulled together and seems to have everything under control. The real work is ahead, though - lots of cellars to be cleaned and mud to be shovelled away. I hope volunteers come from outside to help with that nasty and hard work - people here have been working all night in the cold rain.
J & A, Garmisch, Germany

The cellar of my apartment building was about 50cm deep in water
Dan Graf, Interlaken Switzerland
This morning I helped the fire brigade fill and distribute sandbags on the corner of our street. The cellar of my apartment building was about 50cm deep in water. The water in some areas was also contaminated with fuel which leaked from heating oil and petrol tanks. All day I have heard helicopters flying overhead evacuating people from the mountain resort of Wengen, and sirens from the fire brigade as they rushed to rescue people. According to authorities here the water levels in the local lakes are peaking now so we hope that the worst is over. Across the lake in Brienz, one young lady was killed and others are still missing as torrents of water destroyed 8 homes.
Dan Graf, Interlaken Switzerland

Friends from the eastern Slovene town of Murska Sobota have told me the situation is quite scary nearby (Radenci), as that region is the flattest of the country and became sort of a natural "water speedway" for the waters coming from the Alps through the Panonia Plains. Prekmurje is apparently cut off from the rest of Slovenia.
Pedro Guerreiro, Portugal

We managed to get out of Austria yesterday - after 5 hours extra driving! Our journey from Mayrhofen in Tirol to Augsburg in southern Germany first took us to Seefeld and the closed Alpine pass. We heard that all routes north and east to Germany were closed, as was the route west to Switzerland. There was no option then but to head south to Italy! So we headed over the Brenner pass towards Bozen. We then headed east to Lienz back in Austria, further on to Spittal an der Drau, then Salzburg and at last on to the A8 to Munich. We arrived in Augsburg after 3 am! Today we must get to Disneyland, Paris - another 500 miles!
David Rothwell, Manchester, England

After extremely heavy rain since Saturday all the rivers and streams have turned into raging, brown torrents. Here in Davos only a few houses have been evacuated but the village of Klosters has not been so lucky. The old people's home had to be evacuated last night and several other people winched to safety by helicopters. One bridge has been destroyed and at the moment the village is cut off from the outside world.

A little further down the valley an elderly woman out walking her dog was knocked into the raging River Landquart by a falling tree and is presumed dead. The road connecting Klosters to Davos is still closed. The Engadine valley has been very badly hit, in particular the picturesque tourist villages of Susch and Scuol. The River Inn has burst its banks and excessive damage to both roads and railways has played havoc with the public transport system. The weather is supposed to improve in the next few hours and this is what we are all hoping for.
Valerie Schwitter, Davos, Switzerland

Can anyone tell me if Bad Gastein in Austria is OK? We got married there in June 2004 and it's such a lovely place, very pretty and picturesque.
Kerry England, Frome, Somerset, UK

It's pretty funny that there's flood all over in Central Europe and according to your articles Hungary remained dry. Well, it isn't. Many parts of the country (east and west) are also covered by water, although, at the moment our situation is not so dramatic. However, it can change rapidly if the Danube gets really going after collecting all the water in Bavaria and Austria. If you look at the map, you can see that Hungary is at the bottom of the basin. When the upper neighbours are swimming so hard, there's no way for us to keep our feet dry.
Eva Szoke, Budapest, Hungary

I was sailing on the Lake of Lucerne before the rains came and can't do it this weekend as there are no jetties, they are underwater! It's like a domino effect with the rivers and lakes as they overspill into each other as the rain (which has been torrential for 60 hours or more) doesn't stop, it's a nightmare and I hope there will be no more damage to this beautiful place..
Ollie, BL, Switzerland

The sun is shining again now but the waters still seem to be rising. The old town is flooded and many bridges are impassable. People are walking around with their trousers rolled up to their knees, wading through the water. It seems bad here, but we are lucky compared to other towns, which are completely cut off.
Ceri, Lucerne, Switzerland

Gumboot sales are booming. I'll be contributing to that
Sabrina, Lucerne, Switzerland
A considerable part of the old town of Lucerne is under water. Two contrasts meet together as people play and swim in the clear water whilst others fight to save businesses. There is absolutely no way for anyone living in the old town to get to the train station in the morning without getting wet. Trains aren't reliable, on Monday none of them ran and most highways and roads were closed, making it impossible for many people to get to work. Last night at 4.30am the towns emergency sirens went off (which happen to be right outside my apartment), it was a false alarm, but they couldn't turn them off. The sirens went on for about one and a half hours. Lucerneers are tired and wet. Gumboot sales are booming. I'll be contributing to that.
Sabrina, Lucerne, Switzerland

The situation in Vienna itself is pretty stable, the Danube doesn't look like it will overflow any time soon, but everybody is a little tense since the whole situation in the west is pretty worrying as it is, and now the media is hyping it up even more. The weather forecast with thunderstorms from the north and continuing rain aren't helping either. The city government built floodwalls and storm drains in our area after the 1999 floods, but everybody hopes we won't need them.
Leopold Valenta, Vienna, Austria

My wife and I live up in the hills in Central Switzerland. Because so many roads are out of action, my 8-mile journey to work became a journey of 56 miles. Water is still pouring off the hills and down the rivers, even though we've had no rain since Monday. That water finds its way into the high lakes, which flood, and put pressure on the rivers running from them down hill. These rivers run into lower lakes, and these are now beginning to flood. The Swiss have been brilliant about putting everything right. We had a letter yesterday from the local mayor telling us which roads are open, and when other roads should be open.
Al, Zug, Switzerland

After having continuous rain in Vienna, the Donau is on the verge of breaking its banks another year running in most of the surrounding towns and villages. This has become the norm summer weather for us over the last 3 or 4 years. As to summer, this year, we haven't seen one, except for the one or two days when the temperatures rose, and then the inevitable downpours arrived. What has happened to the long hot summers that we used to experience?
Michael Chambers (Ex-Patriot), Vienna, Austria

The turbulent waters were almost a chocolate brown from all the soil madly washing away
Larry LeBlanc, Schinznach Bad, Switzerland
Last night my wife and I saw much of Switzerland rushing by as we walked across an Aare River bridge behind our home. The turbulent waters were almost a chocolate brown from all the soil madly washing away. Fortunately here the Aare is still within its banks; downstream in the nearby villages where the flooded Reuss and Aare rivers join they are not as lucky; much of the ground and properties there are under brown water.
Larry LeBlanc, Schinznach Bad, Switzerland

The River Inn has burst its banks in various places in Innsbruck. The Inn Bridge has been closed for safety reasons. Parts of Tirol are catastrophe areas and many people have lost their homes and belongings. The rain has now stopped...hopefully for a longer period so that the clearing process can be started.
Jackie, Innsbruck, Austria

Last night my girlfriend and I travelled from Venice to Munich. We had to pass through Innsbruck Garmisch and Escherloh. After we had crossed a near bursting bridge in Garmisch we took the autobahn. The whole way to Munich we saw police and fire brigades moving southwards. It wasn't just raining cats and dogs - it was raining cows and horses.
Peter Baumann, Garmisch, Bavaria, Germany

Just got back from my holidays: a drive back from St Tropez through Milan to Munich where I live. We were unable to get through Austria at all, all the roads where closed as a result of flooding or destroyed from debris coming down from the Alps. We ended up parking the car in Jenbach and taking the train back to Munich which meant a journey time of 13 hours instead of 6.
Clive Ewerse, Munich, Germany

I drove from Bucharest to Arad this morning and endured torrential downpours along the route from Pitesti to Sibiu. I had to take a 50km detour which led me through some areas extremely wet. People had water up to their porches. Most yards were completely submerged. Portions of the road had washed away, the travelling was treacherous in these parts! All the locals tell me they have never seen so much rain.
Ingrid, Romania

My parents flew out to Switzerland hoping to go to Murren, but they only got as far as Interlaken. The rail line was blocked and they managed with the help of a Swiss Tourism rep to find a hotel for the night. As far as I know they're still there.
Chris, London

I've been to Switzerland quite a few summers and I've never seen it rain anything like this
Jonathan Worthington, Scarborough, England
I was on holiday in the Bernese Oberland area of Switzerland until Monday, specifically staying in Wengen, which I believe may be cut off now. It had rained for much of Saturday and all of Sunday and really came down on Sunday night. We had been planning to travel to the airport via Lucerne, as the route from Interlaken to Lucerne is quite pretty, but when we got to the station they said trains in that direction were cancelled due to the flooding, so we ended up going via Bern instead. All along the way we saw rivers brown with mud and other debris they'd picked up as they burst their banks, waterlogged fields and flooded buildings. The railway line from Interlaken to Tunn looked like it would flood if the lake it ran next to rose another 6-8 inches. I've been to Switzerland quite a few summers and I've never seen it rain anything like this heavily, nor snow as low as it did this year. Oh, and guess where I'm flying in a week's time to speak at a computing conference? Portugal!
Jonathan Worthington, Scarborough, England

I live in the southern Austrian province of Styria and my cellar has been flooded due to heavy rains over the weekend. It will take 14 days at least for the specialist machines to dry out the rooms. However, having seen other houses locally and in the media reports I count myself lucky to have escaped with such minor damage. My heart goes out to all those families whose homes have been so badly damaged by the floods and naturally also to those who have loved ones due to the severe weather affecting many parts of Europe.
Jane, Graz, Austria

I took the overnight train from Vienna to Bregenz last night - a journey that normally takes just over 9 hours, which yesterday took a full 20 hours. The major alpine pass has been closed and the train diversion took us through parts of southern Germany, where full grown trees joined other drift wood in rivers that were on the verge of bursting. Many fields are waterlogged, with the occasional road sign standing in the middle of what seems like a ever expanding lake.
Mike, Vienna

Commuting to work was a real headache the last days. Lake Lucerne flooded in many places and blocked roads which this morning was only open for public transport and bicycles. Trains operate only partly out of Lucerne and the SBB has arranged for replacement buses wherever possible. I hope it stops raining now for a couple of days so that the water can recede again. My sister's wedding is on Saturday, with dinner on the shore of Lake Lucerne.
Donat Wullschleger, Lucerne, Switzerland

In Innsbruck we have high water since yesterday. Bridges, subways, promenades are closed. The fire brigade is busy with exhausting many cellars and flats and we get some soldiers from Italy to help us in the disaster areas.
Michaela, Innsbruck, Austria




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