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Germany Battles Severe Flooding and Landslides Amidst Torrential Rainfall

Berlin, June 02, 2024, The Europe Today: German authorities have intensified efforts to manage the severe rainfall and flooding impacting the southern regions, leading to numerous train service cancellations and the deployment of volunteers for evacuation and sandbag distribution.

Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s national train operator, announced the suspension of services between Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, and Munich, the capital of Bavaria. These two southern states have borne the brunt of the storms. A Deutsche Bahn spokesperson, speaking to the German news agency DPA, could not confirm the duration of the service suspension.

Sunday’s forecast predicted strong thunderstorms across central and southern Germany, with the German Weather Service maintaining the highest warning level for areas between Lake Constance and Upper Swabia to western Upper Bavaria, warning of severe weather conditions.

Bundeswehr and Emergency Services Step In

The Bundeswehr, Germany’s army, has joined the relief efforts, supporting the evacuation and safety measures. Late on Saturday, two wagons of an intercity express train derailed in Baden-Württemberg after a landslide caused by heavy rainfall affected the railway tracks. The train, carrying 185 passengers, derailed in the town of Schwäbisch Gmünd, about 50 kilometers east of Stuttgart. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Passengers were safely evacuated from the train, according to a Deutsche Bahn spokesperson. The first two carriages of the train derailed but remained upright. Additionally, a car was struck by debris, but the driver was unharmed. The train had been rerouted between Ulm and Stuttgart due to flooding.

Evacuations and Emergency Declarations

In the Upper Bavarian town of Schrobenhausen, firefighters and rescue services prepared to evacuate approximately 670 residents. Ten Bavarian municipalities declared a state of emergency by Saturday evening, amid rising water levels in the Danube River and its tributaries. The German Weather Service warned of further showers and thunderstorms, particularly affecting areas such as the Swabian Jura, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Bamberg, and Regensburg.

Extensive Relief Efforts

Calls for evacuations in the Augsburg district were extended on Saturday evening, with train services between the district and Stuttgart suspended on Sunday. An emergency shelter was established at the Augsburg exhibition center.

The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) has been actively placing thousands of sandbags in flooded areas across Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria. By Sunday night, an estimated 30,000 sandbags were expected to be deployed to mitigate the impact of the flooding.

Authorities continue to monitor the situation closely, urging residents to remain vigilant and adhere to safety instructions as they work tirelessly to manage the aftermath of the severe weather.