UK Foreign Office issues travel alert for southern Germany amid severe floods

A tractor makes its way on a flooded street in Baar-Ebenhausen . Heavy rains from May 31, 2024 onwards have led to flooding across the southern German states of Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria.
-Credit: (Image: LUKAS BARTH/AFP via Getty Images)

The Foreign Office has issued a warning for those travelling to a major European country following severe weather conditions.

Officials are advising individuals planning to travel to southern Germany to review their transport plans due to significant flooding in the area. The extreme weather conditions have resulted in the tragic death of a firefighter and left hundreds stranded due to heavy rainfall.

In an update today, the Foreign Office stated: "Floods are affecting some parts of Germany, particularly in Bavaria and Baden Wurttemberg. Follow the advice of the local authorities, as well as the German Met Office, and be sure to check your transport plans before you travel. ".

During a rescue operation near Pfaffenhofen in the region of Bavaria, four emergency workers were attempting to reach people trapped by the floodwaters when their boat capsized. Three crew members managed to pull themselves to safety, but tragically, a 42 year old was found dead in the water by other rescue workers.

German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, expressed his condolences, stating on X: "I am saddened by the death of a firefighter in Pfaffenhofen. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues. We owe thanks and respect to the rescue workers and helpers who are fighting the consequences of the floods in many places."

A desperate search is underway in Offingen, Bavaria, for a volunteer firefighter who went missing after his boat capsized amid the floodwaters. The 22 year old was swept away overnight, as reported by local police, reports Wales Online. Torrential rains that began on Friday have led to widespread flooding in the southern German states of Baden-Wurttemberg and Bavaria.

Rail travel has been disrupted, with Deutsche Bahn announcing on Sunday that the route between Stuttgart and Augsburg remains shut due to the extreme weather conditions. Media outlets have reported that two carriages of a high-speed train were derailed following a landslide on this line.

Emergency declarations have been made in several Bavarian districts as they grapple with rising water levels. The Rhine River in Germany has also felt the impact, with sections closed to shipping traffic because of the deluge, according to officials.

"Shipping is suspended along the Upper Rhine," confirmed a spokesperson from the German waterway authority to Reuters news agency, noting that "Critical water levels were exceeded here." There's potential for the Middle Rhine, stretching from Bonn to Mainz, to face closure by Wednesday.

"However, according to the current prognosis this [closure] will not last very long," added the spokesperson.