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Northern Germany braces for floods

06 June 2013, 14:01

Berlin - Floodwaters spread towards northern Germany on Thursday, while damage repair slowly got underway in the southern regions of the country.

Polish regions in the south and near the capital Warsaw saw the worst flooding in the past days overnight, but no evacuations were necessary.

In the German northern state of Lower Saxony, authorities expected the Elbe River to rise until the weekend.

Thousands of emergency workers and people living near the Elbe were making preparations for the tense days to come.

In some areas, watch units were deployed around the clock to checks whether dams withstand the swollen river.

Further east, in Saxony-Anhalt state, the university city of Halle planned the evacuation of up to 30 000 people.

Parts of the old town have already been flooded.

People in neighbouring Saxony were bracing for the crest of the Elbe River to swirl in from downstream in the Czech Republic and to reach Dresden by noon.

However, a spokesperson for the regional flood emergency centre said the water levels would not reach those of the 2002 flood, when the city's baroque treasures were severely damaged.

In the Czech city of Usti, near the German border, the Elbe reached 10.7m early on Thursday before falling again, and thus remained below 2002 levels.

Austrian emergency services said the worst was over in most of the country, as the crest swollen Danube rolled east towards Slovakia and Hungary.



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