Scholz to Visit Southern German Region Battling Severe Flooding

(Bloomberg) -- Southern Germany continues to battle flooding from heavy rainfall that’s disrupted rail services and transport on the key Rhine and Donau shipping routes and pushed emergency services to their limits.

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About half of the country remains under flood warnings, with Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg in the south most severely affected. Downpours have continued since Friday, with some areas seeing more rainfall in a day than they typically get in a month.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who plans to visit some of the affected areas in Bavaria later on Monday, said recent instances of extreme weather highlight “the challenges in view of the rise in the earth’s temperature and climate change.”

“There have been many, many flood events that have reached us at very different times,” Scholz said at the East German Economic Forum in Bad Saarow, near Berlin, on Sunday.

The latest flooding emergency comes almost three years after intense rainfall caused devastation in Germany and neighboring countries. More than 240 people were killed across the region and some 170 in Germany alone, with cleanup and reconstruction costing tens of billions of euros.

Several regions of Bavaria have passed flood levels that statistically are only seen once in a century, the central portal of the nation’s flood control center said Sunday. For the Danube River and several of its tributaries, high- or very-high water alerts remain in place.

The mayor of the Bavarian city of Regensburg on the Danube declared a disaster situation early Monday after the water level reached 5.80 meters (19 feet) at one bridge in the city center.

As many as 3,000 people have been evacuated in Bavaria, with as many as 40,000 emergency services personnel deployed, according to a spokesperson for the state’s interior ministry. Power usage was capped in several regions as a precautionary measure.

Near the Stuttgart headquarters of carmaker Mercedes-Benz in Baden-Wuerttemberg — two carriages of a high-speed ICE train derailed Sunday after being hit by a landslide, rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG said.

The 185 passengers were evacuated without injuries, and the driver of a car that was swiped by the 30-meter (33 yards) mudslide also survived, according to the regional broadcaster SW.

Deutsche Bahn — which suspended some cross-border transport to Austria and Switzerland on Saturday — advised against traveling in the affected flood areas, and expects disruptions to continue through Monday. Some connections to Germany’s capital Berlin and its financial hub Frankfurt were canceled.

Germany’s meteorological service Deutscher Wetterdienst is forecasting more heavy rainfall in the south.

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