Widespread flooding continues to cause havoc in central Europe

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Widespread flooding continues to cause havoc in central Europe

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Much of central Europe remains on flood alert as heavy rains move across the Czech Republic towards Germany and Austria.

In Prague the Vltava is said to be flowing 20 times its normal rate after the authorities were forced to open several dams.

Officials said the river’s levels had now peaked.

In Germany, about 10,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in low-lying areas of Saxony and Bavaria. Many rivers have already broken their banks and Chancellor Merkel has allotted 100 million euros in emergency aid.

Residents of the town of Grimma are once again suffering, having seen it all before during the 2002 floods.

“We hope the situation this time will return to normal as quickly as possible so that we can once again get in and out of town. We have no electricity and at some point, we also need to get food,” said one local who had stayed in his home, preferring not to move into an emergency shelter.

In Austria, people along the river Danube are waiting anxiously to see if mobile flood protection dams will hold back the rising water over the next few days.

Eleven people have so far died in the flooding across central Europe and the widespread damage means insurance companies are bracing for record claims.