Around 50 children spent the night in their school’s gymnasium. In the German town of Braunsbach, whole parts of the center were simply washed away at the weekend, the water carrying with it anything in its path. The damage looked more like the aftermath of an earthquake. Northern Europe has continued to be lashed by torrential rain, bringing extensive flooding to Belgium, Austria, Germany and France. Hundreds of motorists became stranded. The army intervened to take them to emergency centers in nearby towns. Paris has never experienced so much rain in May since records began in 1873. In central France, residents called in emergency services 8,000 times in recent days to demand assistance due to flooding. Similar rain affected Prague, the Czech capital.