Massive flooding sweeps through central Europe

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A women crosses a makeshift bridge over overflooded streets in Unterloiben, Austria on June 4, 2013. Torrential rain and heavy flooding hit central Europe.

Credit:

DIETER NAGL

Floods have swept through Germany, Austria, Poland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic during the past week, resulting in thousands of home evacuations and several deaths

The flooding has caused officials in the Czech capital Prague to shut down the subway system after declaring a state of emergency. Trains in Austria were suspended due to mudslides. In neighboring countries, officials are preparing flood defenses in case the water continues to rise and spread. 

Rescue workers, volunteers and military personnel from the affected countries are working together to aid evacuations and construct temporary water barriers against the floods. 

Weather forecasts predict that the rain will soon stop, but officals will remain on high alert until the water recedes. 

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    Firefighters evacuate local residents from a street flooded the night before by the nearby Weisse Elster river in the city center on June 3, 2013 in Zeitz, Germany. Heavy rains are pounding southern and eastern Germany, causing wide-spread flooding and ruining crops. At least two people are missing and feared dead in what is evolving into the most serious flood levels since the so-called 100-year flood of 2002. Portions of Austria and the Czech Republic are also inundated.

    Credit:

    Sean Gallup

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    In this photo provided by the German Government Press Office (BPA), German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks out over flooded areas on June 4, 2013 between Dresden and Pirna, Germany. Heavy rains have pounded southern and eastern Germany, causing wide-spread flooding and ruining crops. In eastern Germany floodwaters are moving north through the Mulde, Saale and Elbe rivers, forcing authorities to evacuate thousands of residents.

    Credit:

    Steffen Kugler

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    A cat tries to escape from water by the river Vltava in Kly, near Melnik, Czech Republic, on June 4, 2013. Torrential rain and heavy flooding hit central Europe.

    Credit:

    MICHAL CIZEK

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    A women crosses a makeshift bridge over overflooded streets in Unterloiben, Austria on June 4, 2013. Torrential rain and heavy flooding hit central Europe.

    Credit:

    DIETER NAGL

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    The flooded city of Wehlen, in eastern Germany, is pictured on June 4, 2013. Torrential rain and heavy flooding hit central Europe.

    Credit:

    JOHANNES EISELE

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    People canoe in the flooded city of Wehlen, in eastern Germany, on June 4, 2013. Torrential rain and heavy flooding hit central Europe.

    Credit:

    JOHANNES EISELE

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    An aerial view of Elbe river flooding the are near Dresden, Germany on June 4, 2013.

    Credit:

    MICHAEL KAPPELER

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    Inhabitants and others walk through the city center of Grimma after flood has subsided on June 4, 2013 Grimma, Germany. Heavy rains have pounded southern and eastern Germany, causing wide-spread flooding and ruining crops. In eastern Germany floodwaters are moving north through the Mulde, Saale and Elbe rivers, forcing authorities to evacuate thousands of residents.

    Credit:

    Jens Schlueter

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    Bundeswehr soldiers take a break after stacking sandbags to strengthen a dam on the city outskirts against the rising Mulde River on June 4, 2013 in Bitterfeld Wolfen, Germany. Heavy rains have pounded southern and eastern Germany, causing wide-spread flooding and ruining crops. In eastern Germany floodwaters are moving north through the Mulde, Saale and Elbe rivers, forcing authorities to evacuate thousands of residents.

    Credit:

    Jens Schlueter

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    Rescue workers on a rubber boat make their way through a street flooded by the river Elbe in Meissen, eastern Germany, on June 5, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros in emergency aid for flood-ravaged areas as surging waters that have claimed at least 11 lives and forced tens of thousands of evacuations across central Europe bore down on eastern Germany.

    Credit:

    ROBERT MICHAEL

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    Residents transport sand bags to build a flood protection in a street flooded by the river Elbe in Dresden, eastern Germany, on June 5, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros in emergency aid for flood-ravaged areas as surging waters that have claimed at least 11 lives and forced tens of thousands of evacuations across central Europe bore down on eastern Germany.

    Credit:

    ROBERT MICHAEL

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    Rubbish is piled up in front of a house that was flooded by the river Danube in Passau, southern Germany, on June 5, 2013. German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros in emergency aid for flood-ravaged areas as surging waters that have claimed at least 11 lives and forced tens of thousands of evacuations across central Europe bore down on eastern Germany.

    Credit:

    CHRISTOF STACHE

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    A couple looks at the flooded city of Bad Schandau, eastern Germany, on June 5, 2013. Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros in emergency aid for flood-ravaged areas as surging waters that have claimed at least 11 lives and forced tens of thousands of evacuations across central Europe bore down on eastern Germany.

    Credit:

    JOHANNES EISELE

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    Firefighters stack sandbags on the banks of the Danube river in the historic city center on June 3, 2013 in Passau, Germany. Heavy rains are pounding southern and eastern Germany, causing wide-spread flooding and ruining crops. At least two people are missing and feared dead in what is evolving into the most serious flood levels since the so-called 100-year flood of 2002. Portions of Austria and the Czech Republic are also inundated.

    Credit:

    SEAN GALLUP