Emergency services in central and eastern Europe are battling against the effects of some of the worst flooding in nearly a decade.
In the Czech Republic at least eight people have been reported dead – six of them through drowning but two elderly people are thought to have died from heart failure after medical teams could not reach them in time. A police spokesperson said all emergency calls were being investigated but several more people were missing. Austria has recorded its heaviest rain in 50 years. Where the flooding is at its worst, mainly in the north and west of the country, over 1,000 military personel have been brought in to help. Environment Minister, Stphan Pernkopf said: “The lower part of the Danube is still rising slightly ans we can not yet give an all clear because storms are expected over the next few hours, but the clean-up has already started.” Vienna’s Albertina Museum, home to several impresionist works by Monet and Renoir, have started evacuating 959,000 artworks from its leaking underground depot. Museum Director, Klaus Albrecht Schroeder explained the evacuation was a precautionary measure against further bad weather. But across Slovakia, southern Poland and Hungary, the misery continues, with hight flood alerts posted on several rivers as more rain is forecast at the weekend.