Floods in Europe: There are more than 180 dead and dozens missing

Floods in Europe: There are more than 180 dead and dozens missing

Throughout Western Europe there are already 183 dead and dozens missing, as a result of the floods in different territories.

In Germany, at least 156 people have died since Wednesday in the worst floods in recent memory, and another 27 perished in Belgium.

Rescue teams from both countries search for survivors in the rubble, in dangerous conditions. Extreme rains also hit Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The waters started to recede in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia (RNW), and concern turned to the southern region of Upper Bavaria, where heavy rains flooded basements and caused river and stream flooding on Saturday night.

In Austria, emergency workers in the Salzburg and Tyrol regions were on flood alert. The historic town of Hallein, near the German border, was covered in water.

The German government said that intends to create a special fund to attend to damages, the cost of which could reach billions of dollars.

THE RESCUE TEAMS

The dimensions of the impact of the flood gradually became clearer in Germany, when assessing damage to buildings, some of which will be demolished, and advance efforts to restore gas, electricity and telephone services.

In some areas, soldiers used armored vehicles to clear debris from the streets. In more difficult-to-reach locations, divers were used to search for submerged houses and vehicles.

Local authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate and RNW indicated that there are dozens of missing persons in the two states, although they clarified that the interruption in the communication networks made it difficult to make an accurate assessment of the situation.

Rover Lewentz, the interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, said more than 670 people were injured in the state.

“I have lived here my whole life, I was born here and I never saw anything like it”, declared Gregor Degen, a baker in the devastated town of Bad Neuenahr Ahrweiler, near Schuld.

Across the border in Belgium, the death toll rose to 27 with several people still missing.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Prime Minister Alexander de Croo visited the flooded areas of Rochefort and Pepinster in Belgium on Saturday.

“Europe is with you, Von der Leyen tweeted after the visit. “We accompany you in your pain and we will be with you in the reconstruction.”

Belgium declared Tuesday an official day of mourning.

Ben Oakley
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