Europe braces itself for more heavy rainfall

Five dead, two missing in floods; more heavy showers forecast throughout weekend

Europe is bracing itself for more heavy downpours amid fears that the floods may worsen and leave more dead in their wake.

Four people have already drowned in southern Germany, with two more missing and thousands of homes without electricity.

Some parts of central France, where thousands were evacuated, have seen their worst floods in over a century. The body of an elderly woman was found in her flooded home.

After a day of respite on Wednesday in central France, the region is braced for a further rise in already exceptionally high river levels.

Heavy showers are forecast right through the weekend across central Europe from France to Ukraine, with as much as 50mm of rain expected in some parts in just a few hours.

The deadliest incident reported was in Simbach am Inn in southern Germany, where three women were found drowned in the basement of their house.

In the village of Julbach, a drowned woman was found hanging over a tree trunk in a stream. Two people are also missing in the district of Rottal-Inn, with police saying they feared the worst.

On Wednesday, 20 members of a school trip on the Regen river had to be rescued and some residents on the border with Austria took to the roofs to escape the rising waters and had to be rescued by helicopter.

Floodwaters dragged cars, trees and furniture from flooded homes. An emergency was declared in the historic town of Passau. School and road closures were also reported across the border in Austria.

More in World