The death toll from the devastating floods climbed to 160 in Germany, bringing a total of at least 191 severe weather deaths in western Europe, as Herculean clearing and reconstruction work began.
In Germany’s only regional state of Rhineland-Palatinate, local police reported 112 dead. “It is feared that other victims will be added,” the police said in their statement.
Angela Merkel discovers the extent of the damage
Angela Merkel discovered this Sunday the devastated landscapes left by the floods “of the century”. The German Chancellor arrived shortly before 1 p.m. in Rhineland-Palatinate, in the southwest of the country, one of the most affected regions.
The leader was visiting Washington at the time of the deadly floods.
Angela Merke “shocked, described a” surreal “and” frightening “devastation, promising the state’s commitment to help with reconstruction.” It is a surreal and ghostly situation, I would almost say that the German language has to hard to find the words to describe the devastation that has been caused, “said the Chancellor at a press conference, after having surveyed one of the affected villages.
She promised that “the federal government and the regions will act together to gradually restore order” in the devastated areas.
She also called for speeding up the fight against climate change, noting that the damage caused by extreme weather events is “greater than in the past”
At least 31 dead in Belgium
In Belgium, the floods killed at least 31 people, according to an official report released Sunday evening by the authorities. “The danger is no longer imminent in the affected areas. Rescue operations have ended but search operations are still underway in a number of areas,” announced the Belgian crisis center. 163 citizens are presumed missing.
In Austria, we are monitoring the situation
In Austria, firefighters are on high alert in the Salzburg and Tyrol regions, while the old town of Hallein is under water.
“Heavy rains and storms are unfortunately causing severe damage in several places in Austria,” Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz tweeted.
Finally, further east, on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic, rivers also rose in the Germanic region of Saxony on Saturday evening, causing damage.
Blessing of the pope
Pope Francis, released Wednesday from the hospital ten days after a colon operation, today expressed his “solidarity” with the countries of Europe hit by the floods, on the occasion of his return to the Place Saint-Pierre for the traditional public prayer of the Angelus from the window of the Apostolic Palace.
“I express my solidarity with the populations of Germany, Belgium and Holland, struck by disasters and floods”, he declared in front of the faithful, pilgrims and tourists gathered as usual on the great place to see the Pope.
Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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