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France and Germany seek EU assistance while battling against flooding

View of the river Weser in flood in Vlotho, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024.
View of the river Weser in flood in Vlotho, Germany, Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024. Copyright Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP
Copyright Friso Gentsch/dpa via AP
By Euronews with AP
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The regions of Lower Saxony and Thuringia in Germany and Brittany and Nord-Pas-de-Calais, which remains on red alert in France, face particularly harsh flooding due to heavy rainfall.

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France answered the call by offering help to Germany, which included flood containment barriers and 16 vehicles that have begun operations. On the other hand, multiple pumps were expected to leave Wednesday from The Netherlands, Czechia and Slovakia to France. 

Many other neighboring countries such as Austria, Hungary, Sweden, Slovenia, and Slovakia have also offered their help in case of further needs. 

"As the new year starts, EU solidarity does not waver. Once again, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism's swift and decisive assistance to the flood-stricken regions of Germany and France stands as a testament to the strength of unity. I thank Austria, Czechia, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Slovakia and Sweden for quickly showing their support.” said Commissioner for Crises Management Janez Lenarcic.

In western Britanny, France, most structures of Quimperlé were saved by their flood barriers avoiding the worst. 

However, for some, the situation is an unpleasant case of déja-vu. For the second time in two months, the department of Pas-de-Calais is on red alert, meaning there is a risk to life due to flooding. 

The first, back in November, residents of Blendecques, near Saint-Omer, had to evacuate their homes after heavy rainfall and the overflow of an arm of the river Aa, which crosses the town.

Large areas in Germany have been under water for days, such as Lower Saxony and Bremen, which remain on weather alerts. Heavy rain on Wednesday caused water levels of several rivers to rise significantly, increasing the risk of major flooding.

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