Rescuers across central and southern Europe are racing to evacuate stranded residents and remove debris threatening dams and bridges after floods that were spawned by heavy rains.

Across the Alps, helicopters are ferrying supplies and evacuating trapped residents Thursday, following four days of rain that triggered landslides and flash floods throughout the region.

Hardest hit was Romania with 31 victims - many of whom drowned as torrents of water rushed into their homes. Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Switzerland reported a total of 11 dead, but the numbers are expected to increase as more bodies of the missing are recovered.

Water levels are also dropping in the Balkans and in Bulgaria, where 26 people have died in storm-related accidents since June.

Meanwhile, firefighters in Portugal say they have brought most of the country's devastating wildfires under control. The blazes have killed 15 people and burned 180,000 hectares of land since the start of the year.