Germany floods: At least 93 dead and hundreds unaccounted for

 Germany floods: At least 93 dead and hundreds unaccounted for

93 people have died and hundreds more are unaccounted for in Germany

BERLIN, 16 July: At least 93 people have died and hundreds more are unaccounted for in Germany after some of the worst flooding in decades.

Record rainfall in western Europe caused rivers to burst their banks, devastating the region.

Belgium has also reported at least 12 dead after the extreme weather, which political leaders have blamed on climate change.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged full support for the victims.

In Germany, the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were worst hit.

During a visit to a hard-hit area, Armin Laschet, premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, blamed the extreme weather on global warming, saying climate protection measures must be accelerated.

Scientists have repeatedly warned that human-induced climate change would bring pulses of extreme rainfall such as this one.

The Netherlands is also badly affected, with further flooding in Luxembourg and Switzerland.

In the western German district of Ahrweiler, up to 1,300 people are unaccounted for, the authorities say. A spokeswoman for the local government said mobile networks had been put out of action, making it impossible to contact many people.

Floods cause havoc in German town

Speaking during a meeting with US President Joe Biden in Washington DC, Mrs Merkel expressed her “deepest condolences” to everyone across the region who had lost loved ones after “a day of worry and despair”.

“I fear we will only see the full extent of this tragedy in the coming days,” she said. She also pledged government support with rescue efforts and with reconstruction, saying to the German people that the government “will not leave you alone in this difficult, terrible hour”.

In Belgium, dramatic footage of the floods showed cars being swept away along a street in the city of Verviers. A curfew was in place overnight because of the risk of looting.

Residents of Liège, Belgium’s third-largest urban area after Brussels and Antwerp, were ordered to evacuate. Local officials said those unable to leave should move to the upper floors of their buildings.

The Meuse river, which flows through the city, stabilised on Friday morning, with small overflows in some areas. Officials are also concerned that a dam bridge in the area may collapse and urged people to help each other.

“The crisis situation is exceptional and solidarity must prevail,” the local authority said in a statement.

Belgium’s King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited a crisis centre in Chaudfontaine, southeast of Liège, set up for affected residents.

Web Desk

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