Merkel voices horror at ‘catastrophe’ amid search for estimated 1,300 missing in floods in Germany

Germany floods: Merkel voices horror at ‘catastrophe’ amid search for estimated 1,300 missing

Devastating flooding in Germany has killed nearly 60 people, with more than a thousand missing in one district alone, as Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed deep sympathy for victims of a “catastrophe” whose extent will only be seen in the coming days.

Unusually heavy rains have inundated the four countries, causing rivers to burst their banks and flooding streets in cities and towns

On Thursday night, authorities in the district of Ahrweiler in western Germany said the death toll was expected to climb, with about 1,300 people believed to be missing, due partly to damage to mobile phone networks.

In the town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler alone, more than 1,000 rescue missions were carried out on Thursday, with some ongoing.

More than 1,000 emergency services personnel were helping the district, drawn from across the state of Rhineland-Palatinate and the neighbouring states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. It was too early to tell the scale of the damage, said Ahrweiler authorities…

1,300 people assumed missing in one German district after deadly floods hit Western Europe

About 1,300 people remain unaccounted for in Germany after the heaviest rainfall in a century caused deadly flash floods to devastate parts of Western Europe, prompting a large-scale rescue effort.

Fast moving torrents of water inundated entire towns and villages in western and southern Germany, causing buildings to collapse and leaving residents stranded, police said Thursday. At least 55 people have died in the severe flooding but authorities said that number is expected to rise.

Germany is worst hit with 49 dead, while six people died in Belgium. Luxembourg and the Netherlands are also affected.

In Germany’s worst hit Rhineland-Palatinate state, 1,300 people are “assumed” missing in the district of Ahrweiler, the local government said.

“In some areas we have not seen this much rainfall in 100 years,” Andreas Friedrich, a German weather service spokesman, told CNN. He added that “in some areas we’ve seen more than double the amount of rainfall which has caused flooding and unfortunately some building structures to collapse.”…

Floods in Germany Leave Dozens Dead, Many More Missing as Rain Deluges Europe

Dozens of people were feared dead and many more were missing as the worst flooding in decades caused houses to collapse in Germany, Belgium and other parts of western Europe following days of heavy rain that swelled rivers and overloaded sewage systems.

Trier, Germany, where people were trapped in their homes as severe flooding turned streets into rivers.
PHOTO: ERNST METTLACH/FIRE BRIGADES CITY OF TRIER/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

At least 59 people are confirmed dead, according to German news agency dpa. In the city of Cologne, 20 have died from the raging floodwaters engulfing parts of western Germany.

Some 1,300 people are currently unaccounted for in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, a town about 35 miles south of Cologne, possibly due to mobile networks being down and residents being unreachable by phone, according to a spokeswoman for the district.

People were left trapped in their homes across the region on Thursday, many of them waiting to be rescued on roofs as severe flooding turned streets into rivers, swept away cars and crushed houses. Hundreds of thousands of households were cut off from power and water supplies as well as telecommunications across the flooded area. In one town, the torrent ripped off a piece of the railway, officials said…

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