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Flood evacuation order issued in eastern Germany

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A local resident wades to a neighbor’s house on a flooded street near the swollen Elbe River in Elster, Germany, on June 7, 2013.

Officials in eastern Germany have issued evacuation orders for thousands of people living near the swollen Elbe River.

According to reports on Sunday, in Magdeburg, the state capital of Saxony-Anhalt, over 23,000 residents were evacuated after many buildings and streets were inundated, and electricity cut off was reported.

Flooding in central Europe have killed over 20 people during the last seven days as rivers including the Danube, the Elbe and the Vlatava have risen to dangerously high levels.

Nearly 70,000 firefighters and 11,000 soldiers have reportedly been deployed to help flood-hit areas across the country.

Earlier in the day, German President Joachim Gauck visited flood-hit areas saying “One cannot imagine how much remains to be dealt with.”

Hundreds had to be rescued from their homes in other European countries such as Austria, Poland, and Switzerland following days of heavy rainfall.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas declared a state of emergency on June 2 and promised relief aid.

Evacuations also took place in Switzerland after officials in Basel said the Rhine River rose to a dangerously high level.


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