One person killed as heavy rain causes flooding in southern Austria

Austrian authorities have declared a state of emergency after landslides cut off several villages from rescue services and at least one person died as heavy rains caused flooding in the southern state of Carinthia.

According to public broadcaster ORF, residents of the villages of Treffen and Arriach have been ordered to seek safety on the upper floors of their homes.

Several people had to be flown to safety by helicopter, and the body of an 82-year-old man was found in a swollen creek on Wednesday afternoon.

Treffen Mayor Gerald Ebner said rescuers were unable to reach 20 houses and farms.

The driver of the car, previously thought to be missing, “was able to get to safety,” authorities said.

A storm late Tuesday brought strong winds and heavy rain to the region, and authorities warned there was a high risk of more landslides.

Emergency services, residents and numerous volunteers have been busy clearing mud from buildings in the affected area.

Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen thanked the rescuers on twitter and described the destruction in Carinthia as “dramatic”.

The increase in extreme events in Europe, according to scientists, is a direct consequence of global warming.