Thousands flee as central Europe flood waters rise

Thousands flee as central Europe flood waters rise

VIENNA - Agence France-Presse
Thousands flee as central Europe flood waters rise

Rescue workers help local residents to evacuate from their flooded houses in Grimma, eastern Germany. REUTERS photo

Four people have died and at least eight more were missing as torrential rains lashed central Europe on June 2, forcing hundreds to evacuate their homes after floods and landslides.

Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic sent in army units to help with rescue efforts after rains reached record levels in some areas, while hundreds of roads have been closed and rail services cut.

The banks of the mighty Danube River burst in one area in Germany, and dozens of towns were put on flood alert across a large swathe of central Europe.

In Austria, one person was killed and two were reported missing following landslides triggered by heavy rains that forced several hundred people from their homes, local authorities said.

Two people were also missing in neighboring Germany following a 48-hour downpour that hit record levels in parts of the south and east, according to the DPA news agency.

In the Czech Republic, a man and woman were killed in Trebenice, just outside Prague, when their house collapsed, police said. At least four other people were missing.

Officials ordered the evacuation of around 1,800 people from the village of Stechovice.

The government declared a state of emergency and released $15 million in disaster funds.