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Germany to draw up $10.6 billion flood damage fund

Helpers recover a tree in the floods of the river Elbe in Hitzacker, northern Germany, Wednesday, June 12, 2013. Weeks of heavy rain this spring have sent the Elbe, the Danube and other rivers such as the Vltava and the Saale overflowing their banks, causing extensive damage in central and southern Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

BERLIN (AP) -- A German official says the country plans to create an 8 billion euro ($10.6 billion) emergency fund to pay for damage caused by recent flooding.

Thuringia state Governor Christine Lieberknecht gave the figure Thursday after a meeting of the leaders of Germany's 16 states and the country's finance minister, news agency dpa reported. She said financing details have yet to be finalized.

The Elbe, the Danube and other rivers overflowed their banks following persistent heavy rain, causing extensive damage over the past two weeks in southern and northeastern Germany. The water is now slowly receding.

Fitch Ratings earlier this week estimated that the cost of damage in Germany would total about 12 billion euros. The Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary also have been hit by floods.