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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Floods in Austria. Flooded houses, streets and basements. People were evacuated by helicopter

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Floods resulting from heavy rainfall and storms hit Austria over the weekend. Streets and basements were flooded. A dam burst in Lafnitz – the dammed up water flooded the local fire station.

Heavy and violent rain storms affected almost all towns located in Styria in southern Austria. According to firefighters, these are the heaviest rainfall in this region in 40 years. They not only caused local flooding, but also brought hail storms and triggered many mudslides.

Flooded basements and streets

In eastern Styria, hundreds of basements and dozens of streets were flooded. In Lafnitz, a dam burst and the rising water flooded the local fire station. The river's current washed away two bridges in Kleinlungitz and Schaffern, as well as several bridges in Vorau. In Neudau, a nursing home had to be evacuated. Seven people had to be evacuated by helicopter near Uebelbach on Sunday morning because their houses were at risk of collapse. In Deutschfeistritz, about 20 people were trapped in their houses, two of them at risk of collapse.

According to Mayor Michael Viertler in Deutschfeistritz, about 150 properties are affected by the flood, and Uebelbach Mayor Markus Windisch spoke about the dramatic situation in his town. – We had to evacuate families from seven houses, some by helicopter – he said on Sunday. Specialists are constantly checking the situation, but Windisch assumes that the buildings will not be suitable for re-inhabitation for at least the next few weeks. In the towns of Oberrohr and Unterlungitz, two farms with seven thousand turkeys were under water. Most of them drowned and the dead birds were scattered by water over an area of ​​8 square kilometers. – We have dealt with almost 900 actions in the last few hours. About 250 fire brigade units, i.e. about 2.5 thousand firefighters, took part in them. The hottest spots were the Graz area, said Thomas Meier from the State Fire Service Association on Sunday.

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Military involved in aid

The Federal Army had to be involved to help with the floods, which on Sunday sent a humanitarian aid train to Styria and started building a temporary bridge in Feldbach. The military is searching for missing people in the Hartberg-Fuerstenfeld area. “People in the affected places can be sure that our soldiers, together with the civilian emergency services, will do everything in their power to help them as quickly as possible,” said Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner. A mudslide blocked the A9 motorway. Traffic was redirected to the S6 and S35 roads. The A9 motorway on this section will be closed at least until the end of next week.

Strong storms hit Styria on Friday afternoon. Damage to agriculture alone is estimated at several million euros. 3.5 thousand were destroyed. hectares of agricultural land in southwestern Styria. The storms also caused serious damage in other federal states.

Floods in Austria

Main photo source: Reuters

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