At least 128 people have died in Europe in the last hour, most of them Germany, Due to the very strong storm that caused the floods and landslides, and the disappearance of dozens could increase the reserve.
In the west Germany According to the latest reserve, 108 people have been confirmed dead so far. “The death toll we have found has increased”Rhineland-Palatinate State Interior Minister Roger Levendts has confirmed five new deaths.
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The region and neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia have been hit hard by this natural disaster, the worst in Germany since 1945.
Belgium also incurred high costs, with at least 20 people dead and 20 missing, according to the latest government reserve, which declared July 20 a national day of mourning.
View: The most shocking photos of the floods in Germany have already left dozens dead
“These are the biggest floods our country has ever seen.”Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Cruz said.
The heavy rains surprised the citizens and some were caught in the flood and river overflow, which sowed havoc and fear in their uprising. In addition to Germany and Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland also had significant material accidents.
“We’ve been living here for over 20 years and we’ve never seen anything like it.” Hans-Dieter Wrongen, 65, of Schultz, a municipality in the Rhineland-Palatinate, is an AFP native.
Located in the ruined district of Arville, the city’s surroundings showed a ruined picture.
“It’s like war”, Said Wrangan.
The tsunami seemed to have passed through the municipalities of Ahrwheeler: streets and flooded houses, submerged buildings, cars washed away and trees uprooted.
“There was only a little water at 11:30 at night and everything was submerged at 1 in the morning. Our apartment, our office, our neighbors … ”Akran Perisha, who lives in the area, told AFP.
Several neighborhoods in the district were cut off from the world on Friday, and authorities fear a high number of missing people in the two states.
“We estimate that 40, 50 or 60 people may have gone missing,” Roger Levents previously told SWR television.
Near Cologne, part of Erfstad municipality collapsed after a landslide on Friday, leaving a large abyss. Local officials pointed out there were “multiple deaths.”
The positive aspect of the day was that the rains usually stopped and the flow of the rivers began to slow down.
About 1,000 soldiers were mobilized in Germany to assist in the rescue, evacuation and clean-up operations of the cities. They should also start repairing gas connections or telephone cables that are not serviceable in many places.
According to General Gert Landsberg, director of the German Association of Cities and Municipalities, “this is an unknown catastrophe.” “Considering the damage, there are billions of euros in losses,” he said.
Weather, in the campaign
The rain has put the issue of climate change at the center of the German election campaign, where assembly elections will be held on September 26, after which government leader Angela Merkel will step down.
Two and a half months before the election, different candidates made promises in this regard. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Friday called for “decisive action” in the fight against climate change.
As the atmosphere warms, it will catch more water and lead to heavier rainfall. These can have particularly devastating effects in urban areas due to poor drainage systems or buildings located in flood prone areas.
“These floods confirm what science says about global warming,” said German Ursula van der Leyen, head of the European Commission.
In Belgium, in addition to the 20 dead and missing, hundreds are still locked up in their homes and 21,000 are without electricity. Troops were deployed in four of the country’s 10 provinces to take part in rescue efforts.
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