Elbe Dam in Germany breaches overnight, 23,000 evacuated as floods roll east


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A breach of the Elbe River Dam near the German city of Magdeburg has prompted a mass evacuation from the area. Twenty-three thousand people were moved from the city after the dam breach overnight.

Local newspapers in the Magdeburg region reported that the flood levels were holding constant after the initial surge from the dam breach, though the situation remains critical.

Further downstream, more than 1,000 people have fled their homes in Hungary as villages on the banks of the River Danube, which is fed by the River Elbe, prepared to face the worst.

In Magdeburg, the river level is usually around 2 metres deep. In the flooding of 2002, this reached 6.7 metres. After the breach of the dam, river levels reached a record high of 7.48 metres.

The clean up from the flooding across central Europe is expected to run into the billions of euros.
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