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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Toll in Floods Hits 58

APDivers and rescue workers looking for flood victims in a swept-away car that was recovered from the sea near Novorossiisk.
Giant cranes hoisted ruined cars and other debris out of the Black Sea on Monday, as the death toll from the torrential flooding that hit the southern resort region rose to 58.

Russia suffered most from the floodwaters that swept across Europe this past week, killing a total of 74 people, destroying homes and washing away roads and bridges.

Cleanup crews, working under sunny skies, scoured the normally crowded coastal beaches, searching for more bodies among the wreckage, said Irina Andriyanova, spokeswoman for the Emergency Situations Ministry. She said 4,000 square meters of coastline had been inspected.

Thousands of tourists who had descended on the Black Sea coast for their summer vacations were caught up in the surprise flooding. Many remain stranded, their cars swept out to sea by a wall of water that came rushing down from the mountains.

Interfax reported that as many as 4,000 tourists were still trapped in Shirokaya Balka, a scenic coastal village that was devastated by the flooding.

Misha Japaridze / AP

Maria Spiridonidi waiting for news of her family, missing in the Black Sea flooding.
Ivan Aristov, deputy chief of the administration of the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, said all would be offered the chance to return home. But NTV television reported Monday that many tourists were choosing to stay, saying that they had already paid for their vacations.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Nikolai Buzko said an investigative team was being formed to examine all of the deaths for possible criminal prosecution, Itar-Tass reported. The team was also examining why some buildings had been erected in areas where development is prohibited due to erosion and flooding concerns.

In Germany, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg states both declared emergencies as weekend rains washed out roads, caused landslides and flooded homes.

Firefighters in the eastern city of Leipzig were called out 300 times in the early hours of Monday morning as residents tried to protect their homes from rising floodwater.

A police officer died after her car ran out of control and turned over late Sunday night on the way to Wismar on Germany's Baltic Sea coast. Near the city of Jena, another driver was killed in an accident that also injured nine others, officials said.

Austria suffered its first three casualties in the flooding, including a firefighter who was swept away by a swollen river in the town of Mariapfarr in Salzburg province and was presumed drowned, officials said.

Officials evacuated dozens of residents from towns and villages in the waterlogged provinces in Austria.