“I am afraid we will only see the full extent of this disaster in the coming days,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Washington, where she met with US President Joe Biden.
Powerful flood flows have unexpectedly hit people in several regions and severely devastated areas. The popular newspaper Bild called the natural disaster a “flood of death.”
At least nine people were killed in neighboring Belgium. Luxembourg and the Netherlands have also been severely affected by floods caused by rainfall. Thousands have been evacuated from the city of Maastricht.
But the worst hit was Germany, where at least 59 people were killed. The number of victims is likely to increase as many people remain missing in the most affected lands of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.
In the Arveiler district in Rhineland-Palatinate, about 1.3 thousand people are still unknown. the fate of the people. However, local officials told Bild that the high number was probably due to a broken telephone connection.
Regional Interior Minister Roger Lewentz told SWR: “We believe 40, 50 or 60 people are still missing. When you don’t get any knowledge from people for such a long time … you have to fear the worst. “
“The number of victims is likely to increase in the coming days,” the official added.
The situation seems even more worrying due to further rains forecast in western Germany, where water levels in the Rhine and its tributaries are rising dangerously.
About a thousand troops were sent to help with rescue operations and street cleaning in the affected towns and villages.
Water flooded the streets and houses, powerful torrential flows hit cars and overturned many trees. Some districts were completely cut off from the outside world.
Several houses in the Arveiler collapsed – it looked as if the city had been hit by a tsunami.
The deaths of at least 20 people have been confirmed in one of the most devastated cities, Oiskirchen, north of Arveiler.
In the former clean and tidy city center, piles of debris eroded as flood streams destroyed the facades of houses.
There is another danger: a dam on the sides could be broken.
“My condolences and my heart – to all those who have lost loved ones during this disaster or who are still worried about the fate of the missing people,” Merkel told reporters in Washington.
The chancellor promised that her government would not leave the affected people “alone with their suffering” and added that “everything possible would be done to help those in need”.
Annemarie Mueller, a 65-year-old retiree in Mayen, looking out of the balcony at her flooded garden and garage, said residents were completely unprepared for this devastating freshness.
“Where does all this rain come from? It’s crazy, “the woman told AFP. She also shared her impressions of last night when the street was buzzing with a tidal stream.
“It simply came to our notice then. Knowing how fast he appeared, we thought he would break the door, “Mueller said.
Four missing persons are still being searched in Belgium. Soldiers were sent to four of the country’s 10 provinces to assist in rescue and evacuation operations.
The streets of the spa town have been flooded since Wednesday, and evacuated residents are housed in tent campuses.
The flooded Mez River “will look very dangerous to Liège” – a nearby city with 200,000 inhabitants. population, said Walloon President Elio Di Rupo.
The rage has once again sparked a debate on climate change in the run-up to the German parliamentary elections on September 26, ending the 16-year Merkel leadership.
Germany must “prepare much better in the future,” said Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, adding that “these extreme weather events are a consequence of climate change.”
In a warmer atmosphere, more water accumulates, so climate change increases the risk and intensity of floods, with more frequent heavy rains.
Particularly severe damage can be done to urbanized areas with poor water drainage.
In the wake of the latest floods, political candidates immediately took steps to propose measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, who succeeded Merkel as a conservative politician, called for a stepping up of global efforts to combat climate change and drew attention to the link between global warming and extreme weather.
Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.
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