Situation in flood-hit Germany's Saarland eases as water level recedes

Frankfurt, May 19 (IANS/DPA): The situation in the flood-hit area of Germany's Saarland region is continuing to ease.

"The water levels are falling almost everywhere, and the clean-up work is beginning," a spokesman for the Saarland Ministry of the Interior said on Sunday.

The exact extent of the damage is still unclear. "We are still investigating and need to get an overview; it will be weeks before we can give a reliable total," said the spokesperson.

He further said that in the meantime, most of the emergency services that had come from other federal states to provide support had left again.

In Blieskastel, the historic old town was cleared of water using pumps. "The water there is still boot-high, the situation is under control," the spokesman said on Sunday morning.

He added that there is one more operation on Sunday in the town of Lebach on the edge of the flood area. A bomb from World War II is to be defused there in the course of the day.

On Friday, during the day and into the night, heavy rainfall caused flooding, landslides and it is believed, a lot of damage in Saarland.

In the state capital of Saarbrucken, the city motorway was flooded and had to be closed. A coal-fired power station in Saarland, a western state that borders France and Luxembourg, was also flooded, as reported by several media.

Saarbrucken's disaster control authority lifted the state of major damage classification it established after the severe flooding.

The acute rescue and safety measures had been completed, and the water levels were continuing to recede, the city's press office announced, on Saturday evening.



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Title: Situation in flood-hit Germany's Saarland eases as water level recedes

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