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Heavy rains hit Austria


08:24, June 04, 2013

VIENNA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of roads were closed and public transport interrupted after persistent rains swept through Austria, causing floods and mudslides in many parts of the country.

The Austrian Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics said Monday that within the last four days, the rainfall in Laterns, a city of the western state of Austrian Vorarlberg reached 299 liters per square kilometer, and 267 liters per square kilometer in Bad Ischl, a city of the Upper Austria.

In Salzburg, a cultural center in Northern Austria, precipitation reached 463 liters per square kilometer, the highest level over the last 40 years.

In the Western mountains and Northern coastal areas along the Danube, numerous roads were damaged, and even the cities were flooded. Residents of these areas were forced to evacuate.

Since Sunday, towns along the Danube have subsequently declared a state of alert. Some cities and towns in low-lying areas along the river near Vienna even began to evacuate residents.

Relief measures were carried out across the country. Some 5,000 professional rescue staff have arrived in the state of Lower Austria.

The Austrian military was also part of the rescue force. Gerald Klug, the Austrian Defense Minister said on Monday at noon that 700 soldiers and 24 helicopters were invested in relief, and another 2,000 soldiers were on standby.

Meanwhile, Austrian Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger, said Austria would enhance the cooperation with its neighbors along the Danube including Bavaria, the German state, as well as Slovakia, Hungary and the European Union, to deal with disasters.

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