The Heat Is Online

Four Dead from European Flooding

Four die in Europe floods, June 7, 2002

BERLIN, Germany -- Four people have died and a fifth is missing after torrential rain swept across central Europe.

Three people died in the southern German town of Diedorf on Friday, including two men who drowned when they tried to save their parked cars going under water in a nearby garage.

A woman died in the same city when her cellar collapsed, while a fourth person is reported missing in another Bavarian town.

The rain had moved in from France where mudslides damaged property and closed streets.

An 80-year-old died when their house collapsed in the town of Saint-Geoire-en-Valdaine in the mountainous regions of Isere.

About 100 residents were forced to spend the night in a gym after their homes became flooded.

Further downpours and strong winds saw water levels in Venice rise to their hightest levels for the month of June.

The water reached a high on Thursday night of 121 centimetres (47.6 inches) above the average sea level -- unprecedented for the summer season -- and tourists were left wading through floods in St Mark's Square. Further bad weather was forecast for later on Friday.

Italy gave the green light in December to build a series of moveable dams to keep the slowly-sinking lagoon city afloat as part of a controversial project that had been put off for years.

Venice has subsided 24 centimetres (9.4 inches) during the past 100 years.