Polish authorities say 12 people have been killed and tens of thousands have had to leave their homes in severe flooding caused by torrential rain. Water levels are beginning to go down in the south of the country but rivers are now taking the floodwaters north. The city is home to 630,000 people. The floods sweeping across the country have caused damage estimated at more than 2.4 billion euros ($3.6 billion). The Vistula winds in an s-shape across Poland for 1,050 kilometres from the mountainous south to the Baltic Sea in the north. At Poland's request, the 27-nation EU formally kicked off an emergency operation on Wednesday. Among the individual EU member states who have so far sent rescuers and equipment were France, Germany, the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and Poland's neighbour the Czech Republic, which has also been hit by floods. Mr Boni says 23,000 people have been evacuated from flood-hit regions, out of a total affected population of 100,000.