Floods hit Germany
Several German cities battled with severe floods Monday as melting snow and heavy rains combined to make rivers burst, as authorities warned of more bad weather to come.
In the historic western city of Koblenz, which stands at the confluence of the Rhine and Moselle rivers, inhabitants could only reach their homes by means of heavy vehicles or boats.
Authorities registered a water mark of 7.55 metres (24.7 feet), more than three times the normal level.
And fears were rising for the city of Cologne on the Rhine, with the water rising by two centimetres (0.8 inches) per hour.
Police in boats and helicopters were continuing the search for a 59-year-old man in the central German state of Thuringia after his car became engulfed in the flood. Authorities so far have found only the vehicle.
And in Bochum, in the west, police fished a 68-year-old out of the icy waters of the Ruhr.
The German weather service forecast more rain, with snow on higher ground for Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, in other parts of the country, the situation eased. In the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate which borders on France, the waters have begun to recede, allowing authorities to begin a clear-up operation.
© 2011 AFP