Dozens dead and missing as storms swamp western Germany

Berlin — Heavy storms have inundated components of western Germany, dumping sufficient rain to show roads into raging rivers and chopping complete cities off with floodwater. Not less than 42 individuals had been confirmed lifeless in Germany and Belgium on Thursday and dozens had been nonetheless unaccounted for as rescue crews tried to get into flooded areas any manner they might.

Police mentioned 18 individuals died in Ahrweiler county, 15 in Euskirchen, three in Rheinbach and two in Cologne. Belgian media reported 4 deaths in that nation.  

Six homes collapsed within the Eifel area and other people needed to take refuge on the roofs of different buildings close by. Not less than 5 individuals misplaced their lives there alone, and a number of other different homes had been at risk of collapsing, a police spokesman instructed CBS Information.

APTOPIX Germany Europe Weather
Broken homes are seen alongside the swollen Ahr river in Insul, western Germany, July 15, 2021.

Michael Probst/AP

A reservoir dam was threatening to burst, placing many extra houses in danger.

The variety of individuals formally listed as lacking hit virtually 70 on Thursday, police mentioned, as German armed forces had been known as in to assist with search and rescue missions throughout the western half of the nation.

APTOPIX Germany Europe Weather
Automobiles are coated in Hagen, Germany, July 15, 2021, with particles introduced by the flooding of the Nahma river the evening earlier than.

Martin Meissner/AP

Catastrophe declarations had been issued in some counties within the hard-hit states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. Faculties and day care facilities had been pressured to shut, site visitors was paralyzed and electrical energy and cellphone networks had been down in lots of areas.

A 46-year-old firefighter was among the many lifeless after being swept away by the floodwaters whereas rescuing a person, police confirmed on Wednesday. Simply two hours later, a 52-year-old firefighter collapsed and died throughout an operation in one other space. 

Eight deaths had been confirmed within the Euskirchen district of North Rhine-Westphalia, the native authorities mentioned in a Fb publish.

A woman looks at debris brought by the flood next to the Ahr river in Schuld
A lady seems to be at particles left behind after the flooding of the Ahr river, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld, western Germany, July 15, 2021.


“Communication is essentially down, web and phone connections are restricted in lots of components of the district,” the publish mentioned, noting that even the emergency cellphone quantity was out of service. “Human rescues are happening. In some circumstances, there isn’t any entry.”

With service halted on various strains, Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s nationwide rail community, suggested vacationers to keep away from North Rhine-Westphalia state completely if doable.

There have been 4 confirmed deaths from flooding in neighboring Belgium. The identical storm system dumped sufficient rain to trigger flooding additionally within the Netherlands and Luxembourg.


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