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U centralnoj Evropi od poplava je do sada stradalo 23 osobe.Najvise je ostecena Rumunija.Nesto vise o tome
Aug. 25 (Bloomberg) -- Floods in central and southeastern Europe have killed at least 23 people this week after unleashing seven-meter (23-foot) flash floods in Romania, causing lakes in Switzerland to overflow and triggering mudslides in Austria.
Damages are likely to surpass $1 billion from flooding in the past week and rise to several billion dollars for the year, according to estimates of various government officials, insurance companies and news reports.
The rainfall soaking much of central and southeastern Europe is accompanied by the worst drought in at least 50 years in Portugal and Spain, prompting many in Europe to ponder whether the extreme weather conditions are a harbinger of long-term environmental changes on the Continent. Czech newspaper Hospodarske Noviny's front-page weather story today had the headline: ``Is This a Climate Shift, Europeans Ask.''
``These are major, major floods,'' said Wayne Elliot, a spokesman for the Met Office, the U.K. government weather service. ``This while Iberia has the worst drought in recent memory. A weather system has swung in from the Atlantic and combined with heat over southern Europe to create this very energetic set of weather systems.''
Elliot, in a telephone interview, predicted more rain in southeastern Europe and the Alps, the most severely hit areas, in coming days. He said the rain will be less intense and at least the Alps may see dry weather by next week.
Rain in Romania since Tuesday killed 13 people as it unleashed flash floods as deep as seven meters. Flooding has killed at least 66 people in Romania this year and caused more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in damage, not including damage this week, Interior Ministry Vasile Blaga said.
In the last three days water in Romania destroyed 46 houses, 230 bridges, 35 kilometers (22 miles) of roads and flooded more than 2,500 hectares of farmland, he said. The worst was in the Transylvanian county of Harghita, Blaga said.
``In Harghita rains fell at a rate of 100 liters per square meter, but not in 24 hours -- in 15 minutes,'' Blaga said. ``That made possible flash floods rising seven meters. This explains the number of dead. They're generally older people who wanted to get stuff out of their houses and drowned. ''
In central and eastern Switzerland, the worst floods since 1999 killed at least six people, including two firefighters trapped in a mudslide on Sunday, disrupted production of some companies, forced the evacuation of 1,500 people, closed the Bern airport and disrupted rail traffic.
Swiss Reinsurance Co., the world's second-biggest reinsurer, said it expects ``total economic losses'' to the country from floods of as much as 1 billion francs ($794 million).
In Austria, at least three people have been killed and 20 injured after floods and mudslides in the west and south of the country since Sunday.
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel promised to increase the country's 29.5 million-euro catastrophe funds and said damages would exceed 100 million euros. About 40,000 emergency aid workers are in the western provinces of Vorarlberg and Tyrol helping flood victims and restoring community services.
Floods in Germany washed away roads, stranding the ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Emergency workers are piling sandbags to strengthen dams and protect villages and towns as officials warn the Danube river may flood near the city of Regensburg.
Restrictions on barge traffic on the German part of the Rhine were lifted this morning at about 10 a.m. Central European time, said Jaap de Geode, an information assistant at the Institute for Inland Water Management and Waste Water Treatment, or RIZA, in Lelystad, Netherlands. The Dutch portions of the Rhine didn19/64t close.
Water levels at the upper end of the Rhine in Germany, at Rheinfelden and Maxau, had dropped to 414 centimeters and 749 centimeters, respectively, as of this morning, according to the RIZA's website.
``For inland barges there are no restrictions,'' de Geode said. ``All of the Rhein is open.''
In Bulgaria, flooding killed an elderly man Monday, bringing the flood death toll since June to 11, German news agency Deutsche Presse Agentur reported. The floods have caused hundreds of millions of euros in damage, DPA said.
In Hungary, the worst downpours in more than 30 years during the past two weeks in Hungary have affected about 60 percent of the country, said Tibor Dobson, a spokesman for the National Disaster Prevention Center. Within three days, he said, some 50 people have been forced to relocate from their homes.
Hungarian, Czech Damage
The Hungarian unit of Allianz AG, Europe's biggest insurer, said it paid out around 4.2 billion forint ($21 million) by the middle of August for weather-related damage, after paying 3.9 billion forint in the same period of 2004.
Czech authorities, whose memories of the 2002 flooding that overran the capital Prague and caused $3 billion in damage are still fresh, said the northern Moravian region, near the Slovak and Polish borders, has been hit the worst. Some provinces reported the worst flooding in about 50 years.
Firefighters evacuated more than three dozen people in the towns of Cesky Tesin and Karvina. The southern parts of the country were also affected, including the towns of Ceske Budejovice and Chrudim.
Ceska Pojistovna AS, the nation's No. 1 insurer with more than a third of the country's insurance market, faces a total payment of about 60 million koruna ($2.5 million,) in damages to its clients, as of Aug. 25, spokeswoman Dagmar Koutska said in a phone interview.
As an excess of rain ravages central and eastern Europe, Spain and Portugal are suffer their worst drought in half a century.
In Portugal, fires have scorched 180,000 hectares (444,600 acres) of land. About 1,300 firefighters and 600 soldiers backed by planes and helicopters from France, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands battled fires that killed 15 people since the start of this year, Agence France Presse reported.