Cost of European flood disaster put at pounds 3bn

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As the sky turned blue over Central Europe and rivers began to return to their old courses, German insurers estimated that the floods of the past three weeks had caused DM10bn (pounds 3.3bn) of damage. The Munich Re reinsurance company said nine-tenths of that would burden the fragile economies of Poland and the Czech Republic, where more than 100 people died.

Water levels on the Oder were dropping but rescuers warned of the danger of seepage. The dykes and walls of sandbanks constructed in recent weeks are weakening, and the threat to the Orderbruch region near Frankfurt remained acute. To get a better picture of the state of defences, the army has engaged aircraft to monitor the state of the dykes from the air. Chancellor Helmut Kohl, interrupting his holiday in Austria, is expected to visit the area. Imre Karacs - Bonn