Two dead as flooding hits German states of Saxony and Bavaria

Two people have died and many others moved to safety in one Bavarian district as parts of the southern state and Saxony are battered by the heavy rain and flooding that is also devastating parts of western Europe.

Two dead as flooding hits German states of Saxony and Bavaria
View on the river Salzach, after heavy rainfall and flood caused damage in Berchtesgaden, South-eastern Bavaria, Germany, on July 18th, 2021. UWE LEIN / AFP

The Berchtesgadener Land district in Upper Bavaria declared a state of emergency late Saturday afternoon following torrential rain which led to widespread flooding, Germany’s Tageschau reported on Sunday.

There were two fatalities, although one died of natural causes that could have been related to the storm, and 130 people had to be evacuated to safety.

Within this district, the municipalities of Berchtesgaden, Bischofswiesen, Schönau am Königssee, Marktschellenberg and Ramsau were particularly badly affected with landslides and rivers breaching their banks and flooding streets, while the Scheffau area of Marktschellenberg was completely cut off from the outside world.

The fire brigade were out in force to make areas safe and start clear-up operations.

They had been called out some 500 times and there were 890 helpers working in the area currently, according to Tagesschau.

Firefighters clean debris and mud after heavy rainfall and flood caused major damage in Marktschellenberg, South-eastern Bavaria, Germany, on July 18th, 2021.(Photo by UWE LEIN / AFP)

“Emergency calls are coming in all the time,” a police spokesperson in the south-eastern city of Rosenheim said, Tageschau reported.

Pictures showed dramatic scenes of streets that had turned into wild rivers and people wading knee-deep through the waters.

Bavarian Minister-President Markus Söder and Bavarian Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann were planning to travel to the flooded areas in South-East Bavaria on Sunday afternoon, according to government sources.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was also visiting flood-ravaged areas in Germany the same day to survey the damage and meet survivors.

READ ALSO:  Merkel to visit flood zone as western Europe death toll tops 180

Heavy rainfall has also caused severe flooding in parts of the eastern German state of Saxony making several areas of Saxon Switzerland completely inaccessible.

According to the Saxon Flood Centre, it rained more than 100 litres per square metre in 24 hours in the catchment area of the towns of Kirnitzsch and Sebnitz, causing many rivers to swell rapidly.

Neustadt, Sebnitz, Bad Schandau, Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna and Gohrisch were particularly badly affected, according to the district administration of Saxon Switzerland-Osterzgebirge.

Flooding has been severe in the west of the country, too. At least 156 people have died since Wednesday in Germany’s worst flooding in living memory, police said.

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Snow and highs of 20C: Germany set for ‘rollercoaster’ weather before Easter

From snowstorms to dazzling sunshine, the famously changeable spring weather is set to hit Germany in the run-up to the Easter holidays.

Snow and highs of 20C: Germany set for 'rollercoaster' weather before Easter

Though winter is well behind us, you may well find yourself reaching for your snow jacket once more as Germany is set for some pretty erratic weather over the coming days.

Snow and hailstorms have set in everywhere from the northern coast to the Bavarian Alps, and this blast of cold is likely to endure in the week ahead, according to weather experts.

“The current Easter forecasts point to new cold air from Palm Sunday and this cold air could then even more or less hold its own until Easter Sunday,” meteorologist Dominik Jung told Bild. 

But in true April style, there will also be bouts of warm sunshine in between the cold spells, he added.

“Again and again, forecasts are also appearing that show 20C and more at Easter.”

Generally, German meteorological models don’t predict this far in the future, so the US model is currently being used to predict whether we’ll be in jackets or shorts over the Easter break.

So far, the German Weather Service (DWD) has predicted that rain showers, clouds and chilly temperatures will be the main feature of the week ahead, with snow hitting the northeastern and higher-altitude regions over the weekend. 

Schwangau in snow

The castle of Schwangau in Bavaria was covered in snow on Monday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

However, DWD also forecasts temperatures of up to 17 or 19C in some parts of the country. 

“It is the eternal battle between the remaining wintry cold air and the summer air masses that are now pushing into Europe,” said Jung. “This has been going on for weeks now and this back and forth will probably continue until Easter.”

READ ALSO: 7 unmissable events taking place across Germany in April

Here’s what to expect over the coming days:

Tuesday: Snow in the Alps and eastern mountains, scattered clouds and sunshine in the southwest and northeast, heavy winds in the north. Temperatures between 3C and 12C. 

Wednesday: Overcast skies, light breeze and sunny spells with occasional rainshowers. Heavy winds in mountain regions. Temperatures between 7C and 18C.

Thursday: Heavy clouds, rainstorms and thunder and lightning in some regions in the morning, making way for clearer skies in the afternoon and evening. Fresh southwesterly wind with mild temperatures of 10 to 19C. 

Friday: A mixture of sun and clouds and scattered rain throughout the day, mild temperatures and occasional thunderstorms in southern regions. Temperatures between 9C and 19C. 

Saturday: Stormy winds and chilly temperatures, accompanied by scattered rainstorms and heavy clouds. Temperatures of 5C to 9C in the northern regions and 9C to 14C elsewhere. 

Palm Sunday: Clearer skies and mostly dry weather northeastern regions, overcast skies and scattered showers elsewhere. Temperatures of 4C to 8C in the north and northern and 7C to 12C in other parts of the country. 

Monday: Southern regions to see more cloudy skies, isolated showers and occasional snowfall, while northern regions will enjoy clear skies and sunshine. Temperatures between 4C and 11C.