(Eastern floods; 02-02; p.2)
Villages and towns were flooded and hundreds
of thousands people had to be evacuated, many of them facing the
annihilation of their economic being.
There are as many examples to illustrate the
dimensions of destruction as there are fates of people affected;
nonetheless some facts may be useful:
• In Germany mostly the south-eastern länder - federal units of
the republic - were affected, i.e. Saxonia, Saxonia-Anhalt and
Bavaria. Smaller rivers like the Mulde became threatening floodbringers
instead of recognised areas for weekend holidays. The river Mulde
e.g. widened from the usual twenty meters to some two hundred.
• The river Elbe near Dresden rose from a usual two meters water-level
to nine meters in mid-august. Beside flats, houses and administrative
buildings some historical sites like the Zwinger vanished in the
• To prevent further damage and start tidying up things there
are more than 50 000 service personnel at work, half of them soldiers,
the others civilians like fire-fighters and service-men from the
Technische Hilfswerk, a kind of non-military national guard which
gives technical assistance in case of catastrophes.
• Floods like these were unheard of in German territories for
the whole of the industrial age.
What are the political tasks in the face of
such processes in nature? From an analytical point of view, the
question falls into three parts: the ones of possible prevention,
of crisis-management, and of necessary remedies. (read