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Severe weather wreaks havoc in eastern Germany, Austria and Italy: floods lead to 'extremely critical situation'

Severe weather wreaks havoc in eastern Germany, Austria and Italy: floods lead to ‘extremely critical situation’

In the Alpine region, from Innsbruck to Lower Austria, up to 80 liters of precipitation per square meter has already fallen in some places. Videos on social media show how a stream in Hallein, near Salzburg, has turned into a raging torrent, overflowing parts of the inner city. Just as it happened in our country a few days ago, the rising waters took everything with it.

“The situation is very critical and partly dramatic,” a police spokesman said on Saturday evening. There were no reports of injuries so far. Residents were warned of the expected harsh conditions and urged not to sit in the basement at all. Mayor Alexander Stangasinger earlier spoke of a disaster, according to the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper.

Rescue workers used boats and trucks to rescue people trapped in their homes. At the end of Saturday evening, there were no reports of missing, injured or dead people, according to the fire service. Authorities said the water level has since fallen. An emergency center has been set up in a school for homeless people.

There are also reports of severe weather elsewhere in northern Austria. In some places, 80 mm of rain fell in a short time. As a precaution, a flood defense system was built along the Salzach River in the city of Salzburg. Firefighters had to empty several basements around the famous ski resort of Kitzb├╝hel.

Many rivers in the Tyrol region have also reached high water levels. According to the “Kurier” newspaper, there are 100 entries in Kufstein. Residents were asked to stay indoors and move to the upper floors. The neighboring municipality of Seoul could become a “second hot spot” for water misery after Hallen.

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The capital, Vienna, also has to deal with a lot of rain and thunderstorms, Currier reports. Saturday morning, there were already interventions by the emergency services. On the night from Saturday to Sunday, the fire brigade reported that more than 500 interventions had already been made. There was also a traffic jam.


There are also floods in the German state of Bavaria. In Berchtesgaden and Bischofswiesen, all the way south near the border with Austria, the situation is critical. Water flows from the mountains. The level of the Aji River is already one and a half meters higher than previously expected. Level 4 metres. The old record is 3.12 meters.

Homes were evacuated here and there and people urged not to go to their basements anymore. Several streets and secondary highways were inundated or closed due to landslides.

In the meantime, an alert phase has been declared in the Berchtesgadener Land area due to rising waters in the two municipalities. Emergency zone spokesman Traunstein said there were mudslides and the fire brigade was overburdened. “The situation is chaotic,” a police spokesman said. Roads are flooded or blocked. It is still raining heavily.

East Germany

In Saxony, East Germany, there was more than 100 liters of rain per square meter, which led to flooding.

There are floods in Saxon Switzerland, a popular tourist mountain area near Dresden, near the Elbe Valley. The region’s authorities announced on Saturday evening that many places are no longer accessible: Neustadt, Sibnitz, Bad Schandau, Reinhardtsdorf-Schoena and Gorech were particularly hard hit. Authorities are urging residents to stay out of basements, underground garages and the metro. There is also a great danger because of the flooded streets and roads.

BerchtesgadenBild Kilian Pfeiffer / D

Alert level 4 has been exceeded on the Polenz River near Neustadt, says the state’s flood control center. In the lower parts of the Kerenitzsch, Spenitz and Lachsbach rivers, there is a “sharp rise in the water level”. “Severe flooding is expected,” the government agency said. Since Saturday afternoon, aid workers have had to go out more than 250 times.

The flood also disrupted the movement of trains in Saxon Switzerland. There is also a break in the main railway line Hamburg – Berlin – Dresden – Prague.

In the west of the country there was a great disturbance due to the floods in the previous days. At least 140 people were killed in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as a result of severe weather that hit Belgium at the same time.


In addition to Germany and Austria, several regions of Italy were hit by severe thunderstorms this weekend. In Palermo, Sicily, emergency services received several hundred reports of flooding and water damage. There are currently no victims.

Northern Italy also experiences torrential rains. South Tyrol recorded nearly 50 liters per square meter in one day. Video images show how the Ahr River in South Tyrol swelled dramatically.