One dead after heavy rain causes floods in southern Austria

Authorities in Austria have declared a civil emergency after mudslides shut down several villages from rescue services, while at least one person has died after torrential rains caused flooding in the southern state of Carinthia.

According to the public broadcaster ORF, residents of the villages of Treffen and Arriach had to seek safety in the upper floors of their houses.

Several people had to be taken to safety by helicopter, while the body of an 82-year-old man was found in a swollen stream on Wednesday afternoon.

Treffen mayor Gerald Ebner said 20 homes and farms could not be reached by rescue teams.

A car driver previously reported missing “managed to get to a safe place,” authorities said.

A storm late Tuesday brought heavy winds and heavy rain to the region and authorities warned there was a major threat of further landslides.

Emergency services, residents and numerous volunteers are busy clearing mud from buildings in the affected region.

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen thanked the rescue teams on Twitter and described the destruction in Carinthia as “dramatic”.

The increase in extreme events in Europe is, according to scientists, a direct result of global warming.