The death toll from flooding across France has risen to four, according to the country's Prime Minister Manuel Valls, bringing the total number of people killed across Europe to 17. Valls did not give any details about the latest victim in the country where thousands have been forced from their homes by the rising waters and 24 have been injured.

After a meeting at a government crisis center, Valls said the water level of the Seine river is now decreasing "slowly but steadily" in Paris and announced several ministerial meetings next week to ensure quick financial help arrived to the people affected.

Urging visitors to the French capital and residents to "take care to observe safety precautions" as many have been walking along the river banks to observe the risen waters, he said: "It looks like things are getting calmer." They hit 6.10m (20ft) on the morning of 4 June before calming.

Valls said about 20,000 people were evacuated from their homes after a week of heavy rain that led to serious flooding across parts of France, as well as Germany, Romania and Belgium.

France's worst affected areas lay just to the south of the capital. In Villeneuve-Saint-Georges near Orly airport, soldiers and Red Cross volunteers helped stranded residents as floodwaters rose above knee level, while locals kayaked along streets littered with abandoned cars in nearby Corbeil-Essonnes.

In Paris itself, the rapid transit metro line RER C that runs close to the river was shut down as well as several metro stations and roads near the banks of the river.

Some of the city's famous landmarks including the Louvre and Orsay museums, the Grand Palace, Discovery Palace and the National Library were closed due to the floods.

Elsewhere in Europe, German authorities said the body of a 65-year-old man was found in the town of Simbach am Inn and a 72-year-old man died of a heart attack after being rescued from a raging stream in the village of Triftern, bringing the country's death toll from recent flooding to 11.

The German Insurance Association estimates this week's flooding has caused €450m (£350m, $397.8m) in damage in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg alone.

In eastern Romania, two people died and 200 people were evacuated from their homes as floods swept the area, including one man ripped from his bicycle by a torrent of water in the eastern village of Ruginesti.

While in Belgium, rescue workers found the body of a beekeeper swept away by rising waters while trying to protect his hives in the village of Harsin.