The raging mountain river lashes through the city with unimaginable force. The water rises higher and higher, people flee. But two passers-by don’t make it in time! You will be carried away – and in the end saved in a dramatic way.
Salzburg – A video from the Alpine town of Hallein moves our neighboring country Austria this Sunday.
Torrential rains had flooded the old town there when a mountain stream had turned into a torrent. The pictures show how a man apparently loses his footing and sinks to the ground. His companion tries to hold his hand, but suddenly both of them are swept away by the masses of water.
Only when a courageous helper steps in can the situation be happily resolved. He bravely throws himself into the stream, ultimately leading the two of them into calmer waters – the rescue!
The dangerous flash flood was triggered by the masses of water that gathered in the Kotbach. One of the reasons for the rapid increase in level: A white car wedged itself in a narrow place in the stream, causing a water build-up. It was later carried away by the flood. It has since disappeared. Residents suspect that it was washed into the Salzach, just 500 meters away.
Heavy rain puts parts of Austria under water
Storms had hit other parts of Austria on Sunday night. The fire brigades were in constant use in Salzburg as well as in Tyrol and the federal capital Vienna.
A civil defense alarm was triggered in the city of Hallein, as well as in Mittersill in Pinzgau and in Kufstein in Tyrol. In the city of Salzburg, flood protection was built along the Salzach. Crisis teams observed the water levels of streams and rivers everywhere.
According to the fire brigade, there were no reports of missing, injured or even dead people late in the evening. People who were locked in their houses were rescued with the help of boats or trucks, said state fire brigade commander Günter Trinker.
In Kufstein, people are asked not to leave buildings and to retreat to higher floors. In the urban area, the water from the Inn’s tributaries had already reached the streets. Part of the Felbertauernstrasse was closed due to possible landslides.
In Vienna, heavy rain and thunderstorms caused the fire brigades to be very busy. The firefighters were usually called because of flooded cellars or underpasses, and by Sunday morning the professional fire brigade reported over 500 operations.