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Germany faces worsening floods


20:17, June 05, 2013

Workers carry out search and rescue operation in a hovercraft on the flooded street in Halle, eastern Germany, on June 4, 2013. The water level of Saale River across Halle City is expected to rise up to its historical record of 7.8 meters in 400 years, due to persistent heavy rains in south and east Germany. (Xinhua/Pan Xu)

BERLIN, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The eastern part of Germany, including states of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, faced worsening floods on Wednesday even as conditions improved as water level fell in southern Germany.

In Saxony state capital Dresden, over 600 people have been evacuated and bridges been shut down as the river Elbe's water level is rising to dangerous levels and the flood peak is expected to hit the city. Part of Dresden was flooded in 2002 when the Elbe burst its banks.

Other cities in eastern part of the country, including Halle, Dessau and Magdeburg, have also been on full alert as regional rivers have reached critically high levels.

In the city of Passau, which has seen the worst flooding in 500 years, situation has eased as the water level of the Danube River dropped three meters overnight.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged 100 million euros (130 million U.S. dollars) in fast and "unbureaucratic" aid to help flood-hit regions to rebuild as she visited some of the worse affected areas on Tuesday. More than 1,700 soldiers have been deployed to help the rescue work.

At least two people have died in Germany due to the flooding, which has also affected central European countries including Austria and the Czech Republic.

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