Time.news – The intense rains that hit several Northern European countries caused the death of at least 59 people in Germany: such a high number had not been recorded for over two decades. The missing are dozens.
It was the western part of the country that was affected, in particular the Laender of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, where storms caused the flooding of rivers, threatening to knock down houses. The wave of bad weather was also felt in Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, where the victims so far ascertained are four.
The chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “shocked by the catastrophe that so many people have to endure in the flooded areas “, and expressed his” solidarity with the families of the dead and missing, “said his spokesman, Steffen Seibert, in a tweet.” All the volunteers, firefighters and rescuers are fighting relentlessly and with great effort against the flood “, tweeted the premier of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer.
North Rhine-Westphalia leader Armin Laschet, who aims to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel in the September elections, has canceled an event in Bavaria to follow up on the situation. “We will be alongside the city and the people who have been hit,” he assured, as he visited Hagen with his boots on. At least 18 bodies have been recovered in the city of Ahrweiler alone; further north, in the district of Euskirchen, the victims were 15. South of Bonn, in the municipality of Schuld, six houses were swept away by the fury of the waters and four people died, while several other bodies were found in the cellars .
Two firefighters are among the victims in the western region of Germany, who died trying to evacuate people from buildings in Altena and Wedohl; two other men were killed in flooded cellars near Solingen, while another death was reported in Rheinbach. Rescuers moved by helicopter to reach those who had taken refuge on the roofs to escape the fury of the waters. A senior official urged residents to stay at home and “go upstairs if possible”. “The situation is very serious,” he stressed. Berlin has deployed 400 soldiers to help with search and rescue operations, while tens of thousands are left without electricity.
Bad weather also hit Belgium where at least four people died in the Verviers district. In the Netherlands, the province of Limbourg, which borders Germany and Belgium, has been severely damaged. Several roads and a motorway were closed due to the risk of flooding due to the floods. Troubles also in Luxembourg where “several houses” have been flooded and made “uninhabitable”, said Prime Minister Xavier Bettel. By activating an emergency line for citizens in difficulty.