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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. A rescue worker ropes down a police helicopter on June 3, 2013 in Passau, Germany. A worker inspects the heavily damaged road between Lofer and Waidring in the Austrian province of Tyrol on June 3, 2013. Firemen pump water from a submerged field near Melnik, Czech Republic on June 4, 2013.

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view Flooding in Europe as presented by: Boston Big Picture


An undercurrent of explosive anger at the government of Turkey found a fuse on May 31 as a protest over the demolition of a public park in Istanbul quickly spread to other cities and encompassed simmering passions on broader issues in Turkish political life. Police have used tear gas and water canons to break up the protests, which have grown as demonstrators express opposition to what they view as the increasing authoritarianism of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Protestors clash with riot policemen on May 31, 2013 during a protest against the demolition of the Taksim Gezi Park in Taksim Square in Istanbul. Protesters shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration in Ankara on June 3, 2013. A man is hit by a water cannon during a protest against Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party.

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Every five years, National Trust rangers carry out a puffin census on the Farne Islands, off the northeast coast of England. The beautiful birds return to their breeding grounds on the islands, which offer excellent sources of food, few ground predators, and good protection for nesting. This count carries particular significance because the last survey in 2008, recording 36,500 pairs, indicated that numbers had fallen by a third from the 2003 census. There is also fear that the extreme weather in the past year could affect the numbers. In March, thousands of birds washed up dead due to severely cold winds, and last summer, many of the birds were flooded out of their homes. Rangers are now faced with the daunting task of counting every burrow-nesting bird, which involves reaching down to each of the underground nests to see if it is occupied. The results will be ready in July.

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In 2012, sheriff's deputies in Brooks County found 129 bodies, around double the amount from the year before and six times the number recorded in 2010. Most of those who die succumb to the punishing heat and rough terrain that comprise the ranch lands of south Texas. Reuters photographer, Eric Thayer, traveled to Brooks County, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico to investigate the rising rates of immigrant deaths along the border there, spending time at a migrant's hostel in Mexico and with U.S. Border Patrol in Brooks County. Many migrants, after spending several weeks traveling through Mexico and past the Rio Grande, spend a few days in a "stash house," such as Casa del Migrante, in Reynosa, Mexico, and many are ignorant of the treacherous journey ahead. A U.S. Border Patrol agent from the Rio Grande Valley Sector searches for a group of undocumented immigrants who crossed the Rio Grande River in Mission, Texas March 28, 2013. Brooks County has become an epicenter for illegal immigrant deaths in Texas. The unidentified graves of people whose remains were found in the desert. A sign at the Falfurrias U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias, Texas.

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California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. yesterday declared this week as "Wildfire Awareness Week" in recognition of last week's devastating fires northwest of Los Angeles. His proclamation noted, "In an average year, wildfires burn 900,000 acres of California's timber and grasslands." Rains that moved into the area on Monday helped extinguish the fires that started last Thursday along US Route 101 near Camarillo Springs and Thousand Oaks, endangering some 4,000 homes. A firefighting helicopter makes a drop on a wildfire on May 3 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. A huge Southern California wildfire burned through coastal wilderness to the beach on Friday then stormed back through canyons toward inland neighborhoods when winds reversed direction. A man on a rooftop looks at approaching flames as the Springs Fire continues to grow on May 3 near Camarillo, Calif. The wildfire has spread to more than 18,000 acres on day two and is 20 percent contained. Firefighter Justin Romero of the New Mexico based Silver City Hotshots uses a drip torch to build a backfire up the mountain off Potrero Road to control the Springs Fire near Newbury Park, Calif., on May 3. A fierce, wind-driven wildfire spread on Friday along the California coast northwest of Los Angeles, threatening 4,000 homes and a military base as residents were evacuated ahead of the flames and a university campus was closed.

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Damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy's landfall last October can still be seen along the US East Coast, especially the hard hit beachfront areas in New Jersey, as many communities work to move forward. Dubbed "The Superstorm" and reaching 1,000 miles wide at times, Sandy caused some $50 billion in damage and killed 159 people. Flags decorate a fence on April 25 in Brick, N.J., around the burned remains of more than 60 small bungalows at Camp Osborn which were destroyed last October during Hurricane Sandy. Six months after Sandy devastated the Jersey shore and New York City and pounded coastal areas of New England, the region is dealing with a slow and frustrating, yet often hopeful, recovery. A construction crew works to build a boardwalk to replace the previous one that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, in Seaside Heights, N.J., on April 26. A section of the boardwalk is expected to open to the public on May 1 and authorities hope the entire thing will be completed in time for the opening of the summer vacation season at the end of May. The new boardwalk will stretch one mile and require three thousand wooden piles to be driven into the sand. An oceanfront home is being raised to protect from flooding in Ortley Beach, N.J., on April 25. Six months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey shore and New York City and pounded coastal areas of New England, the region is dealing with a slow and frustrating, yet often hopeful, recovery.

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The search for survivors continues in one of the worst manufacturing disasters in history. Fifty survivors were found today; the death toll stands at 304. Terrified workers notified the police, government officials and a powerful garment industry group about cracks in the walls, discovered just days before the collapse. The owner of the eight-story Rana Plaza assured 3,000 workers that the structure was safe and they returned to their jobs. The death toll nears 300 with more workers trapped under the massive concrete and wire. A small collection of the hundreds of images made over the last three days, follows. A Bangladeshi woman weeps holding a picture of her missing husband as she waits at the site of a building that collapsed April 24, in Savar, near Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 26, 2013. A rescue worker comforts a survivor, who was trapped inside the rubble of the collapsed Rana Plaza building. Bangladeshi volunteers, rescue workers, family and friends gather at the scene after an eight-story building collapsed in Savar, on the outskirts of Dhaka, on April 25, 2013. Survivors cried out to rescuers from the rubble of a block of garment factories.

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A powerful earthquake hit the Sichuan province of China near Ya'an city over the weekend reportedly killing some 200 people. Thousands of rescue workers have been deployed to help feed, treat, and house the displaced residents and help clear roads blocked by landslides in the remote area. The quake comes just short of five years after a massive quake in the same region killed some 70,000 people. Rescuers save an injured woman after an earthquake hit Baosheng Township in Lushan County, Ya'an City, southwest China's Sichuan Province, on April 20. Rescuers poured into a remote corner of southwestern China on Sunday. A woman whose relatives were killed in Saturday's earthquake cries while sitting on a pile of rubble in Lingguan township in Baoxing county of southwest China's Sichuan province on April 22. The earthquake in Sichuan province killed some 200 people, injured more than 11,000 and left nearly two dozen missing, mostly in the rural communities around Ya'an city, along the same fault line where a devastating quake to the north killed more than 70,000 people in Sichuan and neighboring areas five years ago in one of China's worst natural disasters. People running during aftershocks to avoid falling rocks on their way to the city of Ya'an, southwest China's Sichuan province, on April 21. Clogged roads, debris and landslides impeded rescuers as they battled to find survivors of a powerful earthquake in mountainous southwest China that has left some 200 dead.

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