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Central Europe record floods force thousands to evacuate

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Central Europe record floods force thousands to evacuate


Flood waters are beginning to subside in the eastern German city of Magdeburg. Just one day before, 23,000 were forced to flee as a nearby dam burst and the River Elbe reached a record 7.48 metres, almost five metres above the normal level. Despite the drop, the situation remains critical and schools will stay closed until Wednesday.

At least a dozen have died in the floods which have affected most of Central Europe over the last week.

In Poland firefighters fought to free passengers from flooded cars as storms brought the capital, Warsaw, to a standstill on Sunday.

The subway was flooded and traffic jams lasted for two-hours as the town was drenched by 30 litres of water per square metre.

It appears flood defences have coped with the record water levels in Hungary. Authorities piled up more than three million sandbags to keep people and property safe from harm.

The capital, Budapest sits on banks of the Danube. Tens of thousands of people were forced to leave their homes. Prime Minister Victor Orban said he would ask parliament on Monday to extend the state of extreme danger announced last week.

Thoughts now are turning to the clean up as analysts estimate the cost will run into billions of euros.

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