Death toll rises to five in southern Germany floods

A woman's body has been recovered from a car that sank into floodwater in Bavaria, bringing the confirmed death toll in flooding across southern Germany to five.

Persistent heavy rain led to widespread flooding over the weekend. While the situation has now eased in southwestern Germany, water levels remained high in parts of Bavaria, particularly on the Danube and in the Rosenheim area in the southeast.

Some major railway lines, including several leading to Munich, were still blocked or disrupted.

The bodies of four people who died in the floods were found Sunday and Monday, three of them in inundated basements.

Police reported the fifth victim Tuesday in the small town of Markt Rettenbach.

They said a driver who apparently had ignored barriers blocking a flooded road on Monday slipped off the road into a field and called emergency services to alert them that her car was filling with water.

Rescuers found the nearly submerged vehicle and recovered the woman's body.

On Monday, a passenger boat with foreign tourists on the Danube River was evacuated. More than 140 people had been taken off the ship, a spokeswoman for Deggendorf in Lower Bavaria said.

The ship is currently unable to continue its journey.

Tourists from Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom had been stranded since Sunday. The passengers were taken to Munich airport by bus to start their early journey home from there.

Most of them were elderly people and there was no medical emergency on board.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz together with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser and Bavarian Premier Markus Söder were on the ground on Monday to gain an impression of the situation in the flood-hit market town of Reichertshofen.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Reichertshofen
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz surveys the flood situation in Reichertshofen, Germany. (EPA PHOTO)

Scholz assured those affected that they would be supported.

"(Solidarity is) what we need most as people," he said during his visit.

"We will do everything we can, including with the possibilities offered by the federal government, to ensure that help can be provided more quickly."

Soeder, who accompanied Scholz, told reporters that there was no "full insurance" against climate change.

The German Weather Service has issued new warnings for heavy rain in parts of southern and eastern Germany.