Germany’s preparing for the worst as the Elbe river continues to rise. Flood waters in the city of Dresden have surpassed seven metres, three times its normal level, forcing authorities to evacuate thousands of people from low lying areas. Experts say the historic city centre will be safe as long as water levels stay below nine metres. People living in the German states of Bavaria and Saxony are also on alert. Widespread flooding is also causing chaos in Slovakia, Romania and the Czech Republic.
Melted snow and rain continue to swell rivers, forcing authorities to raise a state of alert in the worst affected regions in the south-east and west of the country. Barriers are being erected in the capital Prague to protect historic buildings. Thousands of people, still traumatised by the great floods four years ago, have been put into emergency shelters. The Czech cabinet has called an emergency meeting for Thursday to discuss the situation and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek is cutting short a trip to Egypt to return home.