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Floods in Germany and Belgium kill 110 people

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Officials said Friday that at least 110 people were killed in floods in western Germany and Belgium, with hundreds more missing or in danger.

Authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate claimed 60 people died, including 12 residents of an assisted living facility for disabled people in Sinzig who were caught off guard by a nearby river’s surge, according to the Associated Press (AP). North Rhine-Westphalia officials put the death toll at 43, but warned that it could climb.

The devastation caused by the flooding surprised German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who expressed solidarity with the families of those killed and the cities and towns impacted.

“In times of need, our country comes together,” Steinmeier said Friday afternoon. “We must show compassion to those who have lost everything as a result of the flood.”

On Friday, rescuers arrived in Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne. Authorities said that multiple people were killed when their homes collapsed owing to unanticipated earth sinking. A big sinkhole was found through aerial photography.

“We got 50 people out last night,” county administrator Frank Rock said. “We know of 15 people that require assistance.”

Rock told n-tv that police had no idea how many people had died.

“Under the conditions, some people were unable to flee,” he explained.

Authorities announced late Thursday that approximately 1,300 people were missing in Germany, although they cautioned that the high number could be due to duplicate reports and communication problems caused by road and phone disruptions.

Local officials and the media in Belgium confirmed early Friday that 12 people had died and five were missing. The majority of the drowned were found near Liege, where it rained the most.

The flash floods this week arrived after days of excessive rain turned streams and streets into raging torrents that swept away cars and wrecked homes.

Numerous towns around the Steinbach reservoir are expected to collapse due to the weight of the floodwaters, according to experts.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, called an emergency Cabinet meeting on Friday. How he manages the floods will be a litmus test for his hopes to become German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the September 26 national election.

The occurrence, according to Rhineland-Palatinate Governor Malu Dreyer, highlights the need of solving global warming. She accused Laschet and Merkel’s center-right Union of stifling efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions in Germany, the continent’s largest economy and a major emitter.

“Climate change is no longer abstract; it is personal,” she told the Funke media group.

Steinmeier advocated for further climate action.

Rock told n-tv that cops had no idea how many people had died.
Authorities announced late Thursday that approximately 1,300 people were missing in Germany, although they cautioned that the high number could be due to duplicate reports and communication problems caused by road and phone disruptions.
Local officials and the media in Belgium confirmed early Friday that 12 people had died and five were missing.
The majority of the drowned were found near Liege, where it rained the most.
How he manages the floods will be a litmus test for his hopes to become German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the September 26 national election.

“We can only lessen extreme weather events if we take major climate change action,” he said.

Climate change, according to experts, may make such disasters more common.

“Some parts of Western Europe…received up to two months’ worth of rain in two days, aggravated by existing wet soils,” WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis said.

“Climate change is already increasing the frequency of extreme occurrences, and many single events have been shown to be significantly worsened by global warming,” Nullis explained.

He stated that the ministry had activated a “military catastrophe alert,” a technological technique that essentially decentralizes decisions on how to use equipment to field commanders.

Italy dispatched a team of civil protection and firefighting personnel, as well as rescue dinghies, to Belgium to aid in the search for the missing.

The firefighters shared a snapshot of one of their units assisting in the evacuation of stranded civilians in Tillf, south of Liege.

Sandbags were packed along a 0.7 mile stretch of dike along the Maas river in Limburg, a flood-prone province in the southern Netherlands.

On Thursday night, Deputy Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the government had declared flood-affected districts a disaster area, allowing businesses and residents to seek compensation.

On Thursday night, Dutch King Willem-Alexander witnessed “heartbreaking” sights.

Heavy rainfall in Switzerland have caused numerous rivers and lakes to overflow. According to SRF, a rapid flood in Schleitheim and Beggingen late Thursday took away autos, flooded basements, and demolished minor bridges.

Mayor Erik Schulz of Hagen, 31 miles northeast of Cologne, said there has been an outpouring of support from other regions and ordinary citizens to assist those affected.

People are wondering where they can help, where they can register, and where they can bring their shovels and buckets, he told n-tv. “You can sense the city’s oneness.”

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