Switzerland has sent sand bags and other emergency aid to victims of severe flooding in Europe and Asia.This content was published on August 17, 2002 - 22:20
Some 60,000 sand bags were delivered this weekend to the swamped German town of Dresden where flood waters appeared to peak at record highs.
The river Elbe reached a historic high of almost 10 metres - eight metres above its normal summer level.
Some 5,000 people are fighting the floods in Dresden caused by torrential rains.
"We're pumping out slowly but the Elbe keeps giving back," one fire fighter near the Semper Opera said.
A further 420,000 sacks are headed for the German industrial city of Bitterfeld, as well as Magdeburg and Dessau.
Thousands of people living around Bitterfeld fled their homes amid fears of an environmental disaster if water from a burst dam reached nearby chemical plants.
Germany is not the only European nation to be affected by flooding. Russia, Austria and the Czech Republic are also struggling to fight rising water levels that have left more than 90 people dead.
The Swiss Red Cross is providing temporary accommodation to those forced to evacuate their homes in the Czech Republic and said it sent water pumps to affected regions there.
The Swiss Development Agency dispatched 80 dehumidifyers to the Czech Republic and said combined financial assistance to the republic and Germany amounted to SFr1,2 million.
The Swiss Solidarity Foundation pledged SFr500,000 to help flood victims in Eastern Europe.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Red Cross is helping those affected by flooding in Asia - particularly India, Bangladesh and Nepal - by sending SFr500,000.
swissinfo with agencies
Aid to flood victims
80,000 sand bags were dispatched to Dresden, while 420,000 sand bags went to Bitterfeld, Magdeburg and Dessau.
Swiss Solidarity Foundation pledges SFr500,000 for flood victims in Eastern Europe.
Swiss Red Cross sends SFr500,000 to help those affected by flooding in Asia.