Floods claim 7 lives in Bavaria; storms at rock fest cause injuries

The death toll from severe flooding in southern Germany rose to seven on Friday after a 72-year-old man who suffered a heart attack died in hospital.

An elderly couple, aged 77 and 81, who had been missing since Thursday in the partially flooded town of Simbach am Inn, was found unharmed by rescue workers.

No other people were missing in the area, the authorities said.

Several people were injured Friday evening during a thunderstorm at a music festival in Mendig, about 15 kilometres west of Koblenz in west-central Germany. It was unclear whether lightening was the cause of their injuries. The number of victims also was unknown.

Tens of thousands of fans had to wait out the weather after a thunderstorm appeared directly over the festival grounds on the first day of the three-day festival.

Another similar festival in Nuremberg in south-eastern Germany, also began under cloudy skies and rain showers. Fans wearing rubber boots and shorts danced in puddles.

The German weather service warned of heavy showers and thunderstorms in some areas in the far south and west of the country. Hail was possible in the west.

Many areas in southern Germany experienced flooded streets and basements. An area south-west of Munich was badly affected, and several districts in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg reported flooding.

Damage to property in the affected regions of Lower Bavaria - which include Simbach am Inn, Triftern and other towns close to the Austrian border - is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of euros.

Even as some of the water started to recede, the long cleanup started on Friday and officials said the effects of the floods would be felt for months.

As firefighters used special, large hoses to wash away the mud, local residents used spades to clear up, and excavators were brought in to remove debris. Divers searched flooded basements and the power supply was largely restored on Friday.

"The most important thing today is to ensure the areawide supply of drinking water and to restore the road network," a spokeswoman for the district of Rottal-Inn said.

On Thursday, six people were found dead - three women from one family, two men aged 75 years and 65 years in Simbach am Inn and an 80-year-old woman in a neighbouring town.

Last update: Sat, 04/06/2016 - 10:15
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