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Germany floods repair bill debated

Work to repair a German dam that burst after heavy rain was underway this week.

The dam is at the meeting point of the River Elbe and the River Saale, near Barby south of Magdeburg. Work is being managed by the  Saxony-Anhalt regional government.

It is unclear how long the repairs will take or how much they will cost.

Meanwhile Germany’s federal government was this week seeking to push through €8bn (£6.8bn) of funding to repair other vital infrastructure damaged by the floods including railway lines and houses, a German interior ministry spokesman told NCE.

The dam burst on 9 June, as the Elbe rose by more than 5m above its average height to a depth of 7.5m. Around 23,000 people were evacuated from homes in Magdeburg, and a further 8,000 were asked to evacuate towns and villages around Aken, south of Magdeburg.               

Austria, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary were also affected by the floods, as the River Danube threatened to reach record levels.

The floods come just over a decade after the River Elbe rose 12.5m above its average height (NCE 26 August 2002).

The resulting floods also caused severe damage to Prague, critically damaging buildings in the city.

Following the 2002 floods, the European Investment Bank provided some £3.2bn in loans to fund repairs in southern Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria.

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