Germany: Extreme storms, flooded cars and houses and many casualties

Heavy rain caused by the pressure below flooded Bernd on Wednesday nights in some regions of Germany cellars, roads and land, on Wednesday problems continued. A state of disaster was even declared in the Bavarian district of Hof near the border with the Czech Republic.

In the village Schuld the storm took six houses and dozens of other buildings have their statics disturbed and are in danger of collapsing. Dozens of people are still missing in the area and the situation is not clear, the DPA agency said.

Five people in a house in the village of Waxweiler are at risk due to severe floodswhich is surrounded on all sides by water. Rescuers can’t even get to them on boats, so they are waiting for the help of a helicopter, according to SWR.

Very strong storms hit Germany (7/14/2021) | Reuters

In Saarland, two firefighters (46 and 52 years old) died in connection with the storms. According to the police, one of them drowned during the rescue operations. In view of the deaths, the fire brigade called on its congregations throughout Germany to do so for two weeks equipped their emergency vehicles with mourning ribbons.

In the Saxon town of Jöhstadt on the Ore Mountains border with the Czech Republic local the river pulled down a man who was trying to secure his land from the big water. The man is still being searched, but is believed to be dead.

Evacuation of children: Firefighters had to cut themselves into the camp.  Storms continue to threaten, follow Lightning's radar

In Cologne, a 72-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man died in flooded skepticism. Another death was reported from Rheinbach. Two men also died in flooded cellars in Solingen and in the district of Unna, and a total of eight people died in North Rhine-Westphalia. The death toll rose sharply after Koblenz police announced on Twitter that the number of people who died in connection with the floods in the district of Ahrweiler increased from four to 18. The Ahr River spilled out of the riverbed in the district.

The storm hit the town of Selbitz particularly hard, where the intervention units had over 120 exits. Selbitz Elementary School and some kindergartens in Selbitz, Köditz and Naila remained closed today. There are closures in the whole district due to flooded roads, and several trees have fallen.

Historical level

A spokesman for the local fire department, according to the DPA, said he has not experienced such an extreme storm in years. According to the German meteorological service DWD, up to 80 liters per square meter rained here in 12 hours. However, no injuries were reported from Hof ​​County.

Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer called the situation catastrophic. “A lot of people are still in danger,” she said. Many roads are interrupted in the affected areas, roads are blocked by fallen trees. “Communication has largely failed, internet and telephone connections are limited in many parts of the district,” the Euskirchen district said on Facebook. There are 200,000 households without electricity in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.

The storms are back!  They also struck in Prague, breaking trees, destroying roofs.  Watch the Lightning Radar

The meteorological service warned of persistent rain in parts of the West German Länder of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. In some places, the highest level of warning against extreme rains applies. It should rain heavily at least until Friday.

Historic water level today reached the river Moselle in its German part, which is predicted to culminate today. Some of its tributaries have also reached historical levels.

“People are desperate”

German authorities have announced that parts of the Rhine in southern Germany have been closed to shipping today due to rising water levels following recent heavy rains. River traffic was stopped between Maxau near Karlsruhe and Iffezheim, said a spokesman for the German Inland Navigation Authority. The restrictions will probably last until the weekend and prevent vessels from traveling to Switzerland, he added. High water means there is not enough space to pass under bridges. Boat traffic in the northern parts of the river is still in operation.

It is in most of North Rhine-Westphalia the railway connection is interrupted. Part of the highways was also flooded. In the morning the authorities in Rheinbach decided to evacuate the area around the dam on Lake Steinbachtalsperre, as there is a risk of tearing it. A lignite mine was also flooded in the Federal Republic, its administrators are missing one of their employees.

Heavy storms and floods in Germany (7/15/2021) Heavy storms and floods in Germany (7/15/2021) | Reuters

In North Rhine-Westphalia, firefighters had to pump water from many cellars at night. “People are desperate.” said a spokesman for the Hagen police presidium. Many vehicles skidded due to flooded and muddy streets, but injuries are not reported here either. Roads in some parts of Hagen were impassable.

The first attempts at looting were recorded in Stolberg around noon. People were trying to take the goods out of the flooded shops, the police detained one suspect who was tried to steal the goldsmith.

So much water had accumulated in the underpass at Central Station that some cars could not continue driving and firefighters had to rescue drivers from their cars. Also in Düsseldorf, firefighters went to about 330 incidents. The German army has already sent 500 troops to the rescue.

Hamáček offers help

“I am shocked by the catastrophe that so many people have to suffer in flooded areas.” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel through government spokeswoman Steffen Seibert. “I express my condolences to the relatives of the dead and missing. My heartfelt thanks to many tireless helpers and emergency services, “Seibert continued.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was also condemned by Czech President Miloš Zeman. “Allow me, at this turbulent moment, to express my deepest condolences to you and the families of the victims on behalf of the Czech public and on my own behalf,” said Zeman.

The Minister of the Interior, Jan Hamáček (CSSD), offered help with the floods. “According to his statement, the German side is currently managing the situation on its own and with its own resources, and our offer of course continues into the future,” Hamáček wrote.

“We are watching with regret the great floods in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia with high casualties, missing and destroyed houses and we are ready to help our German neighbors! ” said Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (CSSD) on Twitter.

Germany is not alone

Strong storms did not escape neighboring countries either. At least four victims and one missing report east of Belgium, said AFP. RTBF even talks about 6 loss of life. In the Netherlands, they had to evacuate the home for the elderly. Some parts of Switzerland were also flooded.

Slovakia was also hit by heavy rains. Thousands of customers were left without electricity after the night storms, firefighters recorded dozens of departures in several regions due to bad weather. Storm and flood warnings apply in the country.

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