Floods kill at least four in southern Germany

17 06 2024 | 06:34

Floods caused by heavy rain in southern Germany have claimed at least four lives.

The victims include three people found in flooded basements on Monday. On Sunday a firefighter died while trying to rescue trapped residents.

Thousands of people in the states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg have fled their homes since torrential rains began on Friday.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who visited affected areas, said the flooding was a reminder of critical environmental challenges.

"We cannot neglect the task of halting man-made climate change," he said on Monday.

In Schorndorf, east of Stuttgart in Baden-Württemberg, the bodies of a man and a woman were found in a basement late on Monday.

One of the worst-hit towns in Bavaria was Manching, about 80km (50 miles) north of Munich. About 800 people were evacuated after a nearby dam burst.

In Schrobenhausen, further south, the body of a 43 year-old woman was found in a basement earlier on Monday. The volunteer firefighter died after the inflatable boat carrying him and colleague capsized in the area.

Another volunteer is still missing after his boat also overturned at the weekend.

The carmaker Audi has suspended production at its Bavarian plant in Ingolstadt because of flooding from the river Danube.

Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder, who was with Mr Scholz on his visit, said: "Events are happening here that have never happened before."

About 20,000 people are involved in rescue operations across the state. A state of emergency has been declared.

The German Weather Service warned of more heavy rain in southern and eastern parts of the country.