Germany has declared a second disaster area after heavy rain caused more flooding, devastating the towns of Triftern and Simbach am Inn in southern Bavaria. At least four people have been killed in the floods. Firemen found three women in the basement of a flooded house in the town of Simbach am Inn, and emergency services found a drowned woman hanging over a tree trunk in a stream in the nearby village of Julbach, police said, adding that her house had apparently collapsed.

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An aerial view of the flooded Bavarian town of Simbach am InnTobias Hase/AFP
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The flooded Bavarian village of Triftern, east of MunichMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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Cars are swept away on a flooded street in Simbach am Inn, southern GermanyDaniel Scharinger/DPA/AFP

A resident of Simbach am Inn told Reuters: "The water came so fast, it was up at the first floor within five minutes. We saved ourselves by going into the attic and attached red cloths to a broom-handle and waved out of the window for people to come and get us, and after about three hours my grandson climbed on to the roof and the helicopter then reacted."

At least two people are missing in the district of Rottal-Inn. "We're expecting the worst," police spokesman Michael Emmer said, adding divers were searching for those missing. Weather forecasters said more rain was expected in the region on Thursday (2 June), further complicating the rescue works.

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A house destroyed by the floods in the small Bavarian village of Unterturken, east of MunichMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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Flood debris is piled up in the Bavarian village of Simbach am InnMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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A tree lies on a car in Simbach am InnTobias Hase/AFP
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People attempt to cross a street damaged by floods in the Bavarian village of Simbach am InnMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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A damaged overturned car is seen after floods swept through Simbach am InnChristof Stach/AFP
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People discuss the flood damage in Simbach am InnChristof Stache/AFP
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An aerial view of flooded areas of Simbach am InnTobias Hase/AFP
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Flooded farmland on the outskirts of Simbach am InnTobias Hase/AFP
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People look at a flooded area after heavy rain in Simbach am InnChristof Stach/AFP
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A rescue team searches a flooded residential area after heavy rain in Simbach am InnChristof Stach/AFP
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A building damaged by floods is pictured in the Bavarian village of Simbach am InnMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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A helicopter carries a person during a rescue operation in the Bavarian village of TrifternMichaela Rehle/Reuters
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A woman carries her cat in a box through a street covered in mud after a flood in Simbach am InnLukas Barth/AFP
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People remove flooded-damaged goods from a bakery in Simbach am InnLukas Barth/AFP
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A girl holds an umbrella as she is carried along a flooded street in Simbach am InnLukas Barth/AFP
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A man helps to clear mud from a road surrounded by flood debris in Simbach am InnLukas Barth/AFP
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A fireman inspects driftwood that was washed on to a house by the floods in Simbach am InnTobias Hase/DPA/AFP
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People form a human chain to remove mud from flooded houses in Braunsbach, southern GermanyMarijan Murat/DPA/AFP
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A caravan is surrounded by floodwater in Triftern, southern GermanyArmin Weigel/DPA/AFP

Earlier this week, three people were killed in floods in the south-western German state of Baden-Wurttemberg and a young girl was killed by a train as she took shelter from the rain under a railway bridge.

Floods have also devastated regions across France — in some areas, the worst seen in a century or more. The Seine river overflowed its banks, one French town was evacuated, travellers trapped on a submerged highway had to be rescued by soldiers, and boat cruises in Paris were cancelled.

Meteorologists said more bad news is coming — the waters are expected to keep rising for days.