Germany Floods Dozens Killed after Record rain in Germany and Belgium. At least 92 people have died and dozens more have gone missing as a result of heavy flooding in western Germany and Belgium, where streams and streets turned into raging torrents that swept away automobiles and destroyed homes.
Authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, said on Friday that 50 people had died in devastating floods in the western state, increasing the national death toll to at least 81, with dozens more still missing.
On a visit to Washington, DC, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her horror at the scale of the flooding, stating, “I weep for those who have lost their lives in this calamity.” She predicted that the death toll would continue to increase. “We still don’t have a figure. But there will be a lot of them.”
Merkel said the day was “characterized by terror, despair, and suffering,” and that “hundreds and thousands of people were suddenly confronted with calamity.”
“My heart breaks for all of those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, or for those who are still concerned about the fate of those who are still missing,” she stated.
Schuld was one of the worst-affected German settlements, with numerous homes collapsing and hundreds of people missing.
Roadblocks and phone and internet disruptions impeded rescue efforts across the Eifel, a volcanic region of rolling hills and small valleys. Old brick and timber houses couldn’t withstand the unexpected rush of water, and some villages were reduced to rubble.
Karl-Heinz Grimm, who had traveled to Schuld to assist his parents, stated he had never seen the little Ahr River rage in such a lethal torrent before.
“It was like pandemonium last night,” he remarked.
Hundreds of people were rescued from their homes’ rooftops using inflatable boats and helicopters. Hundreds of soldiers were dispatched to help with the rescue operation.
“There are people who are dead, missing, and more who are still in danger,” Malu Dreyer, the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate, told the regional assembly. “We’ve never seen anything like it. It’s quite upsetting.”
Flooding has claimed the lives of 11 people in Belgium.
The Vesdre River burst its banks near Liege, sending water surging through the streets of Pepinster, where a fireman rescue mission went awry when a tiny boat sank and three elderly persons vanished.
Mayor Philippe Godin added, “Unfortunately, they were rapidly consumed.” “I’m afraid they’re dead.”
The prosecutor’s office in Verviers said multiple bodies had been discovered, but it could not corroborate local media allegations that four individuals had been killed.
In the southern and eastern portions of the country, major roadways were flooded, and the railway announced all trains were halted.
The Meuse River spilled its banks in Liege, a city of 200,000 people, on Thursday, prompting the mayor to order residents to evacuate.
“My thoughts are with the relatives of the victims of the catastrophic floods in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as those who have lost their homes,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted.
Many settlements were cut off by floods and landslides that made roads unusable, making the entire scope of the destruction unknown. On social media, videos showed cars floating through streets and partially fallen houses. After the floodwaters retreated, several of the dead were discovered.
The abnormally heavy storms and an earlier heatwave, according to Laschet, a conservative who is hoping to succeed Merkel as chancellor in this fall’s election, could be linked to climate change. During his tenure, Laschet, the son of a coal miner, has been chastised by political opponents for supporting the region’s coal industry while obstructing the spread of wind power.
Late Wednesday, the Dutch government dispatched roughly 70 troops to the southern province of Limburg to assist with evacuations and sandbag filling.
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