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Petr Josek

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Heavy rainfall over Europe during the the past week has swollen many rivers past their flood stage, wreaking havoc unseen in decades across Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic. At least 18 people across the region have been killed, and tens of thousands have been evacuated. In Germany, the crest of the Elbe River is now approaching the North Sea, as the swollen Danube River is surging toward the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Collected here are images from the past several days of those affected by these historic floods, even as meteorologists predict more rain over the coming weekend. [36 photos]

The city hall of Grimma, Germany, surrounded by floodwater, on June 3, 2013. Flooding has spread across a large area of central Europe following heavy rainfall in recent days. Eastern and southern Germany are suffering under floods that in some cases are the worst in 400 years. Tens of thousands of Germans, Hungarians and Czechs were evacuated from their homes as soldiers raced to pile up sandbags to hold back rising waters in the region. (AP Photo/dpa, Jens Wolf)     

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The Danube River reached its highest level in 500 years. The Elbe, Rhine, and other rivers and tributaries are cresting high as well as swathes of central Europe lie inundated by floodwaters that have killed 12 and displaced tens of thousands. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic have been severely affected, as Hungary prepares for the swell of water. Gathered here are images of the flooding and people affected in the last several days. -- Lane Turner (40 photos total)
The river Rhine floods Mainz, Germany on June 2, 2013 (picture taken with an underwater camera). (Fredrik Von Erichsen/AFP/Getty Images)     

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The 40th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race came to an end earlier this week in Nome, Alaska. Dallas Seavey, 25, bested both his father and his grandfather with his team of nine dogs, becoming the youngest musher ever to win the nearly 1,000-mile race across the Alaskan wilderness. His winnings included $50,000 and a new truck. Gathered here are images from the Iditarod and other events from around the globe.(29 photos total)
Pat Moon and his team travel the Kuskokwim River toward McGrath, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 7. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News/Associated Press)

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CLOTH OF MANY COLORS: A worker arranged a sari, a traditional garment for women, on a line to dry after it was dyed at a workshop in Shardarpara village, south of Kolkata, Friday. (Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters)

FIGHTING WITH WATER: Belgian policemen stood guard at the entrance to a cabinet office as firefighters sprayed water at them during a demonstration in Brussels against pension overhauls, part of Belgium’s austerity plan. (Zuma Press)

GETTING READY FOR THE RUNWAY: A model prepared backstage before the Peter Som fall/winter 2012 collection show during New York Fashion Week Friday. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

HANGING OUT: Sheep grazed in a field near a coal-fired power plant in Neurath, Germany, Friday. (Ina Fassbender/Reuters)

SNOWY SQUARE: A woman walked across a snow-covered square in the center of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Friday. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

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Mountains, snow, wind, cold, sun, dogs, sleds and mushers. Those are elements you meet in various combinations when you go to cover the Sedivackuv long dog sled race in the Czech Republic's Orlicke...

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PITCH BLACK PITCH BLACK: A man walked down subway stairs Wednesday to enter a station. The national government introduced the country’s first mandatory power-saving drive since the 1970s. Japanese companies are required to cut electricity consumption by 15 percent to help avoid blackouts. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

TANKER FIRE TANKER FIRE: A man walked past a tanker Wednesday that was set ablaze by a bomb blast in Landikotal, Pakistan. The NATO truck was carrying fuel for foreign forces in Afghanistan. (Shahid Shinwari/Reuters)

TIMBER! A lumberjack sawed a tree in Sumava National Park near the village of Modrava in the Czech Republic, where environmental activists tried to prevent authorities from cutting down trees. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

DAREDEVIL DAREDEVIL: A reporter leaned over the edge of a catwalk Wednesday during the media preview for ‘EdgeWalk’ on the CN Tower in Toronto. Participants are strapped into a harness attached to a guardrail as they walk around a catwalk 1,168 feet (356 meters) off the ground. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

STILL WATER STILL WATER: London celebrated the one-year countdown to the Summer Games on Wednesday with the first dive into the new Olympic pool, shown here, at the new, gleaming aquatics center in the Olympic Park in east London. (Ben Stansall/Getty Images)

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A LITTLE LEVITY: A sign read “Have water, need beer” in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo., Wednesday. The death toll climbed to 125 from Sunday’s tornado there. Meanwhile, at least 14 people were killed in Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma in new storms Tuesday night. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

BEACH PATROL: Mounted police checked a beachgoer’s documents Wednesday as part of security checks ahead of the G8 summit in Deauville, France. (Wu Wei/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

MUSIC THERAPY: A newborn rested and listened to music at a hospital in Košice, Slovakia, Wednesday. The hospital uses music as therapy for newborn babies when they are separated from their mothers. (Petr Josek/Reuters)

GRADUATION DAY: U.S. Air Force Academy cadets arrived at Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wednesday. More than 1,000 graduates were scheduled to receive their graduation degrees. (John Moore/Getty Images)

CAMPING OUT: Journalists camped out Wednesday at the Manhattan building where Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund boss charged with sexual assault and attempted rape, is staying while out on bail in New York. Mr. Strauss-Kahn insists he is innocent. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg)

PASSENGERS REST: Passengers slept outside a railway station while waiting for a train in Vadodara, India, Wednesday. (Ajit Solanki/Associated Press)

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