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Austria Flooding: River Levels Reach 100-Year High Amid Storms

Thunderstorms and torrential rain have brought flash flooding to Austria as river levels reached 100-year highs, according to local media reports.

The western and southern regions of Vorarlberg, Tyrol, Salzburg and Carinthia had seen the biggest impact from the extreme conditions.

Some homes were evacuated and a number of rail routes and bridges were closed by the authorities amid fears over rising water levels.

Experts at GeoSphere – the country’s meteorological service – warned of “mudflows and flooding” with up to 100 millimetres of rain expected across many areas.

Around 70 people had to be evacuated from 30 homes in Tumpen, a village in Tyrol, local media reported.

In the Pitztal valley in Tyrol, three houses were evacuated in Jerzens.

Austrian broadcaster ORF reported some rivers had risen to levels not seen in a century.

Video on social media showed the Ache river in Tyrol at the brink of breaking its banks, while waterways were also reported to be overflowing across the Otztal valley.

The Gasteiner waterfall in Bad Gastein, Salzburg – usually a popular spot for tourists – became part of a flash flood following 24 hours of heavy rain.

Dramatic footage on social media showed muddy water flowing at speed through the waterfall as it struggled to cope with the extreme conditions.

Flood warnings were also in place along parts of the River Inn in Tyrol.

Forecasters said the conditions had been caused by a low pressure system across northern Italy which had been “sending moist air to Austria”.

GeoSphere said Wednesday and Thursday should see the weather ease with some sunshine and isolated showers, before more settled and “sunny” conditions into the weekend.

The heavy rain and flash flooding follows a heatwave in Austria which saw prolonged temperatures of above 30C (86F).

At the beginning of August, torrential rains and heavy floods in southern Austria saw one person killed when they were swept away by a river in Carinthia.

Mudslides and rising rivers saw water surging into buildings and forced the evacuation of people from several villages.

Source : Sky News

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