The death toll from the worst floods to hit Poland in over a decade reached 15 Monday, as flood waters spread toward the north of the country and burst through a dyke, officials said.
Heavy rain has caused damage estimated at more than 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) over the last week, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people from their homes along the Vistula river, which flows from the southern Tatra mountains into the Baltic, Reuters informs.
An area of 8,000 hectares was underwater near Plock, forcing the evacuation of 4,000 people and 5,000 animals.
There were concerns that 10,000 residents of the towns of Gabin and Slubice could also be threatened by floodwaters from the river Vistula, said Ivetta Bialy, spokeswoman for the central Masovian province.
About 800 cubic metres of water a second were pouring through the breach at Plock, officials said. The opening, initially 50 metres long, had stretched to 200 metres, The Hindu reports.
According to a spokesperson of the Polish fire fighting service, the floods in along the two major rivers are the worst since 1884. Several dams in southeastern and central Poland have collapsed flooding a number of towns and villages.
Germany , France, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the Czech Republic, among other states, have sent rescue and relief teams to Poland.
The floods are affecting increasingly the northern parts of the country, and the situation in southern Poland has gradually started to stabilize, Novinite.com says.