Where was the German flood?Floods in western Belgium kill at least 110 people

From Berlin-At least 110 people were killed in catastrophic floods in western Germany and parts of Belgium, officials said Friday.

Officials in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany said 60 people died there, including 12 residents of a living support facility for the disabled in the town of Sinzig, which was surprised by the sudden stream of water from the nearby Ah River. .. Adjacent North Rhine-Westphalia state officials have killed 43 people, but warned that this number could increase.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was “surprised” by the devastation caused by the floods and promised to help the families of the murdered people and cities and towns facing serious damage.

“Our country stands together when needed,” Steinmeier said in a statement on Friday afternoon. “It is important to show solidarity to those who have robbed everything of the flood.”

Rescue teams rushed on Friday to help those trapped in their homes in the town of Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne. Local officials said some people died after their homes collapsed when the ground beneath them suddenly sank. The aerial photographs showed what looked like a huge sinkhole.

“I managed to get 50 people out of my house last night,” said county manager Frank Rock. “I know 15 people who still need help.”

Locke said he had spoken to German broadcaster n-tv and said authorities did not yet know the exact number of dead people.

“Under that circumstance, we have to assume that some people managed to escape,” he said.

Authorities said late Thursday that about 1,300 people in Germany were listed as missing, many due to duplicate reports and difficulty in contacting people due to road and telephone service interruptions. Warned that it could be the cause.

In a tentative tally, Belgium’s death toll has risen to 12 and five have gone missing, local governments and the media reported earlier on Friday. Most of the drowned victims were found around Liege, which was hit hardest by the rain.

This week’s flash floods followed heavy rains that turned streams and streets into raging torrents, wiped out cars, and destroyed houses throughout the region.

In Germany, thousands after authorities consider homes destroyed or endangered, including several villages around the Staumau Reservoir, experts say they can collapse under the weight of floods. Many people remained homeless.

German Governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, convened an emergency cabinet meeting on Friday. Responding to the 60-year-old flood disaster is widely seen as a test of his ambition to take over German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the September 26 general elections.

Rhineland-Palatinate Governor Malu Dreyer said the disaster indicated the need to accelerate efforts to curb global warming. She hampers efforts to achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions in Germany, where Rachette and Merkel’s Central Right Union block is Europe’s largest economy and a major source of global warming gases. I accused him.

“The potential for climate change is no longer abstract. We are experiencing it up close and painfully,” she told the Funke media group.

Steinmeier called for greater effort to combat global warming.

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“We can limit the extreme weather we are currently experiencing only if we are determined to fight climate change,” he said.

Experts say such disasters can become more common due to climate change.

“In some parts of Western Europe, there were up to two months of rainfall in two days, and worse, the soil was already saturated with previous rainfall,” said Claire Nuris, a spokesman for the World Meteorological Organization. Was. “

She said it was too early for floods and the heat waves that preceded them to blame the rise in global temperatures, but “climate change has already increased the frequency of extreme events, and many simply. One event has been shown to be exacerbated by global warming. “”

Defense Ministry spokesman Arne Collatz said the Germans had deployed more than 850 troops as of Friday morning, but that number “has increased significantly due to increasing need. There is. ” He said the ministry had triggered a “military disaster alert.” This is a technical move that essentially disperses decisions about using equipment for ground commanders.

Italy has sent a team of civil protection authorities, firefighters and rescue dinghys to Belgium to assist in the search for those missing in the devastating floods.

Firefighters tweeted a photo of a team working in Tilff, south of Liege, helping to evacuate the inhabitants of a house trapped in rising water.

In Limburg, also in the south of the Netherlands, which was also flooded, troops piled up sandbags to strengthen a 0.7-mile embankment along the Meuse River, and police helped evacuate some areas of the lowlands.

Interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday night that the government had officially declared the flood-affected areas as disaster areas.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands visited the area on Thursday night and called the scene “painful.”

Meanwhile, due to sustained rainfall in Switzerland, several rivers and lakes broke the embankments. Flash floods reported late Thursday in the northern villages of Schleitheim and Beggingen, flooding basements and destroying small bridges.

Eric Schultz, the mayor of Hagen, Germany’s devastated city, about 31 miles northeast of Cologne, has joined forces from other regions and the general public to help those affected by the devastating floods. Said there was a wave.

“We have a lot of citizens saying,’Where can we provide a place to stay, where can we go to help, where can we register, where can we bring shovels and buckets?'” He told n-tv. Told. “The city is standing together and you can feel it.”

Associated Press writers Geir Moulson and Emily Schultheis in Berlin, Raf Casert in Brussels, Nicole Winfield in Rome, Angela Charlton in Paris, and Mike Corder in The Hague contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 By AP communication. all rights reserved.

Where was the German flood?Floods in western Belgium kill at least 110 people

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