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WEATHER

UPDATE: One dead in Austrian landslides

One person has died after landslides caused by heavy rains waged widespread damage in southern Austria on Wednesday.

Flood and water damage in the Villach-Land district of the Carinthia state, Austria, on June 29, 2022. Photo: GERT EGGENBERGER / APA / AFP
Flood and water damage in the Villach-Land district of the Carinthia state, Austria, on June 29, 2022. Photo: GERT EGGENBERGER / APA / AFP

Record rain falls overnight Tuesday to Wednesday sparked the landslides, sending mud and debris into populated regions. Several streams also burst their banks in the mountainous Villach-Land district in Carinthia state, which borders Italy and Slovenia.

President Alexander Van der Bellen called the destruction in Carinthia “dramatic”, appealing to people to take care of themselves and others.

An 82-year-old man was found dead after he was swept into the floods by a landslide, district head Bernd Riepan said.

Another person reported missing while travelling in a car managed to get himself to safety, he added.

One community with some 1,200 inhabitants remained cut off, Riepan told AFP. No one there was reported injured. Riepan said many houses had been partially buried in the district, though the exact number was not yet known.

Photos showed debris-strewn streets and houses partially submerged in water and mud in Villach-Land.

A flooding alert at another community in adjacent Salzburg state imposed earlier on Wednesday was lifted as the situation improved, according to the Austrian news agency APA.

“One person has been found dead unfortunately… outside the home,” a police spokeswoman, who declined to be named, told AFP.

In some areas of the region, there has never been such a large amount of rain in such a short time since the start of measurements, according to the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG).

Riepan said “many” houses had been partially buried, though the exact number was not yet known. Photos showed debris-strewn streets and houses partially submerged in water and mud in Villach-Land.

READ MORE: Wild weather in Austria: How to protect yourself during summer storms

ZAMG said it rained as much in just a few hours as it does for the entire month of an average June.

Austria is currently experiencing a heatwave and authorities have warned of thunderstorms.

Experts say climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of heatwaves and other extreme weather events.

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WEATHER

Weather: Vienna to bake in scorching temperatures on Friday

Friday is set to be one of the hottest days of the year – so far – in Vienna and parts of Austria, with temperatures forecast to rise to as high as 37 degrees by the afternoon. Here's what to expect in the coming days.

Weather: Vienna to bake in scorching temperatures on Friday

Vienna is expected to be the hottest place in Austria on Friday, although maximum temperatures are only forecast to be slightly lower – 35C – in the eastern Austrian regions of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Styria, according to the forecast by meteorology institute ZAMG.

It will be coolest in the far west, with highs of 29-32C forecast for Voralberg.

In the most eastern parts of the country, it should be sunny and hot all day, but over in the west, clouds are forecast to form over Austria’s mountains from midday, with heavy showers and thunderstorms from the Silvretta to western Upper Styria expected.

Heading into Friday evening, there is a higher chance of thunderstorms from Lake Constance to Upper Austria, with only the south-east and far eastern parts of the country forecast set to remain dry.

Temperatures will drop to 17C in the west overnight, but remain milder at around 21C in the more eastern parts of the country.

Cooler weekend
Temperatures will be significantly lower over the weekend as storms move in, pushing temperatures down to 22-29C. The south-east of the country will be warmest, ZAMG said.

Most of the country will see storms on Saturday, although outside of the mountains, clouds and rain are expected to lift, and some areas may even see some sunny spells.

Sunday will start off dry, but isolated showers and storms are expected from midday over Austria’s mountains and in the south.

Elsewhere, it should be dry and mostly sunny.

Temperatures are forecast to reach highs of between 22-29C.

And we’re not going to see Friday’s baking-hot weather replicated at the start of next week, either.

It will be changeable on Monday, with showers and cloud cover expected across much of the country, except the far west and in the north.

Some clouds will remain on Tuesday, but it should be mostly sunny across the country, with temperatures climbing to highs of 26-28C, still well below this Friday’s peaks.

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