Rising river levels are still threatening vast parts of eastern and southern Germany and hundreds of people were being evacuated in Dresden.

A city spokeswoman told German news agency dpa on Wednesday some 600 persons needed to leave their homes and electricity was turned off in some parts of the eastern city that was flooded by the Elbe river.

Spokeswoman Heike Grossman said the peak of the flood in Dresden was expected later in the day.

In the eastern city of Halle, the downtown area was flooded. Elsewhere in the flood-affected regions, soldiers and residents were reinforcing soaked levees with sand bags to keep them from breaking.

In the hard-hit Bavarian city of Passau, the water was slowly receding, leaving behind vast amounts of debris.