The Latest: Germany’s Merkel promises to rebuild flood areas

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the flooding that’s affected parts of Europe. (all times local):

3:55 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is promising continued help for flooded areas of southern Germany, where five people have been killed this week amid the floods.

Merkel told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that she “mourns for those for whom the help has come too late, who lost their lives.”

She says disaster relief is now on hand to help both controlling the floods and with rebuilding damaged areas.

Floods have inundated parts of France, Germany and Belgium this week, trapping thousands in homes or cars as rivers burst their banks from Paris to Germany’s Bavaria. In Germany, the flooding has been worst in the south along the Austrian border.


3:30 p.m.

One of Paris’ central train lines is being closed down as the Seine River that winds through the French capital keeps rising and overflowing its banks.

The RER C suburban line runs alongside the Seine in central Paris, serving the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides plaza and the Orsay museum. French rail company SNCF says the line will be closed Thursday at 4 p.m.

Other subway lines in Paris are running normally despite the flooding.

A direct train line to Versailles has also been shut down due to the bad weather but travelers can still access Versailles castle through other train connecting lines.

Floods have inundated parts of France, Germany and Belgium this week, killing five people and trapping thousands in homes or cars as rivers burst their banks from Paris to Germany’s Bavaria.


1:35 p.m.

Police in Germany say they’ve found the body of a fifth victim after floods swept part of Bavaria.

The police said in a statement that the body of a man was found Thursday at a property in the town of Simbach am Inn. No further details were given.

The bodies of three other victims were found in the same town on Wednesday evening. In nearby Julbach, the body of a woman was also found in a stream Wednesday evening.

Although flood waters have receded in the area near the Austrian border, police say that some roads remain closed.


11:10 a.m.

Belgium endured a fourth day of heavy rain, with flooding reported in several areas across the country.

After widespread flooding hit northern Antwerp and the west of Flanders early in the week, waters kept rising in eastern areas around Limburg and Liege. Several neighborhoods have had to be evacuated as cellars flooded and streets were submerged in overflowing creeks and rivers.

One major train line linking eastern Limburg to the capital had to be temporarily suspended early Thursday. No deaths or injuries have been reported so far in Belgium. More rain is expected later.


10:50 a.m.

The German state of Bavaria is promising quick financial help to residents in areas near the Austrian border hit by flooding this week.

According to the dpa news agency, Bavaria’s governor, Horst Seehofer, has pledged “quick and unbureaucratic help,” saying his state “won’t abandon those affected, some of whom have lost their whole homes.”

Four people have been confirmed killed in the flooding, which swept through the towns of Simbach am Inn and Triftern, while others have been reported missing.

The waters have receded, and disaster relief crews were on the scene helping to clear the wreckage, while helping to prepare for more possible flooding. There are warnings of more storms in the forecast.


9:45 a.m.

French media say that thousands have been evacuated as floods continue to threaten homes and businesses across the Paris region.

French authorities say that areas along the Loing River, a tributary of the Seine, had seen waters rise to levels unseen since 1910, when a massive flood swamped the French capital.

Media reported of evacuations in the town of Nemours, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Paris. The iTele broadcaster said 400 firefighters and police were at work there removing people from flood-hit homes.

France’s meteorological service said Thursday that severe flood watches are in effect in two Paris-area departments: Loiret and Seine-et-Marne. Eight more departments, including three on the German, border, face flood warnings as well.

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