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Germany strengthens its flood defences

Germany strengthens its flood defences
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Authorities in the German state of Brandenburg are preparing to deal with the flood that’s caused devastation across Poland.

In the village of Ratzdorf, the Oder river stands at 6.17 metres.

Water levels have been rising rapidly and are soon expected to reach marks last seen in 1997 when several towns and large parts of farmland were deluged.

Since then, the government has spent millions of euros to reinforce dams.

In recent days, floods in neighbouring Poland have burst riverbanks and submerged homes.

The problem now is that information about the water levels is changing all the time.

What is sure is that the water level will remain high for another 3 or 4 days.

To ease pressure on some dykes, some areas have been flooded deliberately.

The Prime Minister of Brandenburg, who has been visiting the affected regions, says he is confident their defences will hold up.

“The situation is critical but we’re much better prepared than before. We’re only worried about old dykes. The ones we’ve rebuilt are perfect,” said Mathias Platzeck.

Nonetheless, authorities have not ruled out the possibility of declaring a maximum alert if the water levels are higher than expected.