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Austria lifts state of emergency

A state of emergency that was in place in Austria in response to dramatic flooding that left some areas cut off was lifted yesterday as the rain subsided.

Areas in the state of Lower Austria were hit with heavy floods following torrential rain last week, leaving many villages cut off and houses and roads overrun with flood water.

Experts are warning however that although the river level has dropped and the clean-up has almost finished, areas could still be at risk of mudslides because of the softened earth. On Saturday Hollenstein an der Ybbs had already experienced several mudslides.

Around 1,000 firemen worked last week and over the weekend to secure 1000 houses along the river with twenty thousand sandbags deployed to hold back the water. The clean up went on until yesterday and is still being finished in some of the worse hit areas around Lilienfeld, St. Polten, Amstetten and Neunkirchen.

Austria is among several countries in central and south-eastern Europe that had declared a state of emergency following flooding in the region.

In other areas of Europe, the flooding has been even more extreme, killing at least 19 people in Serbia and in Bosnia army helicopters were sent in to rescue dozens of people stranded in a town.

The floods are thought to be the worst in the area in over 100 years.

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