More Than 100 Dead From Floods In Germany And Belgium
The death toll from devastating floods across parts of western Germany has risen to 93, according to local authorities, pushing the total toll of flooding in Western Europe past 100, as the search continued for hundreds of people still missing.
Western Germany experienced heavy, continuous rain Wednesday night and Thursday, resulting in local flash floods that destroyed buildings and washed away cars. One of the worst-hit German villages is Schuld, where several homes collapsed and dozens of people remained missing. Across the Eifel rescue operations were hindered by blocked roads and outages across the internet and telephone networks. There were many villages reduced to rubble as old brick houses and timber houses couldn't withstand the sudden surge of water, which often carried trees and other debris through narrow streets.
Rhineland-Palatinate authorities have reported scores of deaths in the state, including at least nine residents of an assisted living facility for people with disabilities. In North Rhine-Westphalia officials said the death toll was in the dozens, and warned it could rise further. Authorities say at least 1,300 people are still missing, but road and telephone disruptions may make it hard to locate them. Many villages were cut off by floods and landslides that made roads impassable, while the full extent of the damage was unclear. Social media videos showed cars floating down streets and houses partially collapsing. Most of the dead were only discovered after the floodwaters receded.
Dozens of people had to be rescued from the roofs of their homes with inflatable boats and helicopters. Hundreds of soldiers were deployed to assist in the rescue efforts.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster”. She reported that the number of dead was likely to rise further. “We still don’t know the number. But it will be many... My heart goes out to all of those who in this catastrophe lost their loved ones, or who are still worrying about the fate of people still missing,” The governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state, Malu Dreyer, told the regional parliament, “There are people dead, there are people missing, there are many who are still in danger.. We have never seen such a disaster. It’s really devastating.”
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to help, tweeting: “My thoughts are with the families of the victims of the devastating floods in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and those who have lost their homes.”
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