Western Germany officials have confirmed 93 people have died as floods ravage Western Europe. The search continues as hundreds of people remain unaccounted for.
Unexpected high-levels of rainfall were experienced over the past few days in Western Germany that caused rivers in the region to surge – flooding many of the nearby towns. Homes and businesses were destroyed and dozens of people killed.
Rescue teams were faced challenging conditions as roads were blocked and phone and internet outages added to the pressure in the volcanic region of rolling hills and small valleys, Eifel. Some villages were left in wreckage as the old houses could not stand the sudden pressure from the water, often carrying trees and other debris as it washed through tiny streets.
At least 42 people in Germany have died after floods caused by record rains. Homes were swept away or collapsed, and dozens were reported missing.
Officials linked the unusual extreme weather to the climate crisis: A weather service says about 2 months of rain fell in 1-2 days. pic.twitter.com/IHAbJKSXMa
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The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate was severely affected, a living facility that assisted the disabled has also been hit killing at least 9 disabled people.
During a visit to the White House in the US, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her sadness saying, “I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster. We still don’t know the number. But it will be many.”
Merkel was speaking from the White House in Washington DC and she said the day was “characterised by fear, by despair, by suffering, and hundreds of thousands of people all of a sudden were faced with catastrophe”. Merkel also showed empathy for those who have lost someone they love or for those who await reports on loved ones who are missing.
Phone and road infrastructure has also been damaged in the floods and rescue operations are doing their best to find at least 1300 people who are still missing.
In Belgium at least 5 people are still missing and the death toll has hit 12.
People were rescued from the roofs of their homes with inflatable boats and helicopters while hundreds of soldiers were deployed to assist in the rescue operation. Efforts to recover missing people continues but the destruction that has unfolded will require some serious clean-up and rebuilding campaigns.