France and Germany battle deadly floods

Nemours, Jun 2: France faced more torrential rain today after a week of storms that have killed nine people across northern Europe, submerging streets, closing schools and leaving people stranded on rooftops.

Eight people have perished in Germany and six days of torrential rain in France have caused the Seine and other rivers to burst their banks, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people in riverside towns south of Paris and in the Loire Valley.


The body of an 86-year-old woman was found in her flooded house in Souppes-sur-Loing in central France, where some towns have been hit by the worst flooding in more than 100 years.

In the small town of Montargis, the water had risen so high that only the tops of cars could still be seen peeking above the surface along the high street. Rescue workers have responded to around 10,000 calls and evacuated more than 5,000 people since the deluge began at the weekend.

"The situation remains tense and difficult in several areas. We still have many concerns," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said as he visited a crisis control centre in the flooded town of Nemours, south of Paris.

In southern Germany, dangerously swollen rivers have caused loss of life and severely damaged towns in Bavaria.

Rescue workers found the bodies of three people in a house in Simbach am Inn yesterday and police warned that several other people were missing. The force of the water upended cars and washed away parts of the streets, with a thick layer of mud left throughout the town by the subsiding water.

Huge piles of wood and rubbish deposited by the torrent were visible next to badly damaged homes and offices. A woman's body was also discovered caught on a tree trunk in the neighbouring town of Julbach, police said.

On Bavaria's southeastern border with Austria, some residents scrambled on to rooftops to escape the waters on Tuesday. "The floods came so quickly that people had to escape to the roofs of their houses," a spokesman for the Lower Bavaria police said.

The deaths raised the toll in Germany to eight after four people were killed earlier this week in the southern Baden-Wuerttemberg region.


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