A flooded statue stands in the swollen Vltava river in the center of Prague, Czech Republic, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Heavy rainfalls cause flooding along rivers and lakes in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. (AP Photo/CTK, Roman Vondrous) SLOVAKIA OUT
PASSAU, Germany (AP) — Raging waters from three rivers poured into the old town of Passau in southeast Germany on Monday, one of the cities worst hit by flooding that has spread across a large area of central Europe.
Rescuers used boats to transport residents from flooded parts of the city to dry land as officials warned that water levels — already the highest in 70 years — could rise further. A spokesman for the city's crisis center said much of Passau was inaccessible on foot and the electricity supply had been shut down as a precaution.
"The situation is extremely dramatic," spokesman Herbert Zillinger told The Associated Press.
Water from the Danube, Inn and Ilz rivers rose above markers set in 1954, when the city suffered its worst flooding in living memory. Zillinger said levels would continue to rise throughout the day.
At least six people were reported to have died and seven were missing due to floods in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic following days of heavy rainfall.
Czech authorities were working to erect further protective metal barriers along the Vltava river, which also flows through the capital Prague.
Interim mayor Tomas Hudecek said no major evacuations were planned, but animals from a zoo located by the river have been taken to safety. Parts of the city's subway network have also been halted shut down because of flooding.
The German army has deployed hundreds of soldiers to help local authorities and volunteers reinforce flood defenses particularly in the south and east of the country. Chancellor Angela Merkel planned to visit flood-hit areas Tuesday, her spokesman said.
Frank Jordans in Berlin and Karel Janicek in Prague, Czech Republic, contributed to this report.
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