Third dike bursts in flood-hit Germany
July 27, 1997
Web posted at: 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT)
FRANKFURT AN DER ODER, Germany (CNN) -- Despite massive reinforcement efforts and sandbagging, a third dike along the
Oder River gave way early Sunday, sending waters swirling up roof-high.
Local officials said at least another 67 people were
evacuated as waters gushed through the approximately
half-mile (1 km) breach south of the city Frankfurt an der
The latest dike to crumble was near another river dike that
broke last week near the village of Brieskow-Finkenheerd,
just south of Frankfurt an der Oder.
Thousands of people, including emergency teams of soldiers,
border guards and volunteers, were working around the clock
as part of efforts to shore up other flood barriers along the
Floodwaters appear to have stabilized in some areas but are
said to still be at critical levels. Officials said the
situation in Ratzdorf, upstream at the confluence of the Oder
and Neisse rivers, was stable.
However, there is still the threat that central Europe's
worst flood this century might inundate Germany's fertile
Oderbruch plains, north of Frankfurt an der Oder.
Several villages were flooded a few days ago when the 100
mile (160 km) long dike broke south of Frankfurt an der Oder.
To the north, about 5,000 people were evacuated as a
precaution from low-lying areas south and east of Bad
Freienwalde, near the Polish border, on Friday.
As people were ordered to leave their homes in the most
affected areas, farmers began moving thousands of head of
livestock to higher ground.
The evacuations triggered fears of possible looting, and in
the early stages of the flooding many people decided to stay
behind, hoping for the best.
Interior Minister Manfred Kanther sought to ease homeowners'
fears and said that police would protect the evacuated
The severe flooding killed about 100 people in neighboring
Poland and Czech Republic. About a third of the 1.6 million
acres flooded in Poland were still under water, a government
spokesman said. About 50,000 Poles have been evacuated from
their homes in recent days.
Polish villagers complained that food, medicine, clothes and
other aid had been distributed unjustly and that the police
were not doing enough to stop looting in the flooded areas.
Correspondent Betsy Aaron and Reuters contributed to this report.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.