Thousands flee flood-hit parts of Germany and Hungary

Source: BBC Website

Some 20,000+ people were forced to leave their homes in the east German city of Magdeburg after a dam burst on the flood-swollen River Elbe.

Although water levels in Magdeburg were reported to be receding on Monday, the city and areas of the country further north remain on high alert. In Hungary, 1,200 people had to leave their homes but permanent flood defences in the capital Budapest appeared to have held.

At least 19 people have died in the floods in Central Europe.

Analysts say the damage will cost billions of euros to clean up.

Meanwhile, parts of Poland’s capital Warsaw were flooded on Sunday after hours of heavy rain. One of the city’s busiest motorways was inundated, and firefighters had to help stranded drivers to safety.

Flood defences in Budapest appeared to have held on Monday as waters from the Danube River started to recede, having reached an historic peak of 8.91m (29 ft) on Sunday.

“We have no reports of any catastrophic situation, the situation is normalising,” Budapest Mayor Istvan Tarlos said on Monday.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the capital “should be out of danger by Wednesday”, but warned that the focus of defence efforts was now in the south of the country.

Along more than 700km (470 miles) of the River Danube, thousands of people, including many volunteers and even convicts from the prisons, worked to reinforce earth and sandbag barriers.

More than 1,200 people have been evacuated from their homes, although no flood-related deaths have yet been reported in Hungary.

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