Image default
News

At least 60 dead and dozens missing as flash floods sweep through Europe

Heavy rain was recored in several countries
Heavy rain was recored in several countries (Picture: AP/Getty/EPA)

At least 60 people have died as floods hit several European countries, leaving homes collapsed and sweeping away cars.

Most of those dead were confirmed in Germany, with dozens of other people missing there and some trapped on rooftops waiting to be rescued.

However, Switzerland and Belgium – where eight deaths were reported – have also been badly hit by the heavy rain causing rivers and reservoirs to burst their banks.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Washington: ‘I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster.

‘We still don’t know the number. But it will be many.’

Authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state said at least 30 people have died, while 28 deaths were reported in Rhineland-Palatinate state to the south.

The governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state, Malu Dreyer, told the regional parliament: We have never seen such a disaster. It’s really devastating.’

Authorities in the western German county of Euskirchen said eight deaths had been reported there.

A woman looks at debris brought by the flood next to the Ahr river, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld, Germany
A woman looks at debris brought by the flood next to the Ahr river, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld, Germany (Picture: Reuters)
Flooding in Bad Munstereifel, Germany
Flooding in Bad Munstereifel, Germany (Picture: Rex)
epa09345559 Flooding after heavy rains in Ensival, Verviers, Belgium, 15 July 2021. Heavy rains have caused widespread damage and flooding in parts of Belgium. EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
A road flooded after heavy rains in Ensival, Verviers, Belgium (Picture: EPA)
Cars destroyed by flood are pictured on a flood-affected area, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld, Germany
Cars destroyed by flood are pictured on a flood-affected area, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld, Germany (Picture: Reuters)
A woman trying to move in a flooded street following heavy rains in Lieg
A woman trying to move in a flooded street following heavy rains in Liege (Picture: Getty)
A car partly covered with debris from collapsed houses is seen, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld
A car partly covered with debris from collapsed houses is seen, following heavy rainfalls in Schuld (Picture: Reuters)

Efforts to help people were hampered as phone and internet connections were down in part of the region, south west of Cologne.

Police in the western city of Koblenz said four people had died in Ahrweiler county, and about 50 were trapped on the roofs of their houses.

Six houses collapsed overnight in the village of Schuld, in a volcanic region of rolling hills and small valleys south west of Cologne, with up to 70 people reported missing.

Dozens more were trapped on the roofs of their houses awaiting rescue. Authorities used inflatable boats and helicopters, and the German army deployed 200 soldiers to assist in the rescue operation.

The extent of the damage is still unclear after many villages were cut off by floodwater and landslides that made roads impassable.

A man looks at damaged cars in a flooded street in Mery, Province of Liege, Belgium
A man looks at damaged cars in a flooded street in Mery, Province of Liege, Belgium (Picture: AP)
People stands in a flooded street following heavy rains in Liege
People stands in a flooded street following heavy rains in Liege (Picture: Getty)
Streets have been flooded due to rising water from the Geul River amid heavy rain affecting the Netherlands region
Streets have been flooded due to rising water from the Geul River amid heavy rain affecting the Netherlands region (Picture: EPA)
The village square of Stansstad in the canton of Nidwalden on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
The village square of Stansstad in the canton of Nidwalden on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland (Picture: EPA)

Videos posted on social media showed cars floating down streets and houses partly collapsed.

Authorities declared an emergency in the region after days of heavy rain that also affected large parts of western and central Germany, as well as neighbouring countries.

Police said four people died in separate incidents after basements were flooded in Cologne, Kamen and Wuppertal, where authorities warned that a dam could burst.

Authorities in Rhine-Sieg county, south of Cologne, ordered the evacuation of several villages below the Steinbachtal reservoir amid fears the dam there could also break.

A fireman drowned on Wednesday during rescue work in the western town of Altena and another collapsed during rescue operations at a power plant in Werdohl-Elverlingsen.

A man and woman stand on the stoop of their home as they look at the flood waters following heavy rains in Geulle, netherlands
A man and woman stand on the stoop of their home as they look at the flood waters in Guelle, the Netherlands (Picture: Getty)
The fire brigade evacuate people from their homes in South Limburg, the Netherlands
The fire brigade evacuate people from their homes in South Limburg, the Netherlands (Picture: EPA)
A woman cleans a shop entrance after flooding in Bad Muenstereifel, Germany
A woman cleans a shop entrance after flooding in Bad Muenstereifel, Germany (Picture: EPA)
A vehicle of the fire brigades is seen through the damaged windows of a building caused by the floods of the Volme river in Dahl near Hagen, western Germany
A vehicle of the fire brigades is seen through the damaged windows of a building caused by the floods of the Volme river in Dahl near Hagen, western Germany (Picture: Getty)
The village square of Stansstad in the canton of Nidwalden on Lake Vierwaldstaettersee is covered with flood water, in Switzerland
The village square of Stansstad in the canton of Nidwalden on Lake Vierwaldstaettersee is covered with flood water, in Switzerland (Picture: EPA)
A car seems to float in the flood waters in Valkenburg, South Limburg, flooded by the rising waters from the Geul River following heavy rain affecting the region on July 15, 2021. (Photo by Sem van der Wal / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by SEM VAN DER WAL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
A car seems to float in the flood waters in Valkenburg, Netherlands (Picture: Getty)
A car is submerged in floodwater in South Limburg, the Netherlands
A car is submerged in floodwater in South Limburg, the Netherlands (Picture: EPA)
A photo, taken with a drone, shows the devastation caused by the flooding of the Ahr River in the Eifel village of Schuld, western Germany
A photo, taken with a drone, shows the devastation caused by the flooding of the Ahr River in the Eifel village of Schuld, western Germany (Picture: AP)
A man looks at a car that is covered in Hagen, Germany
A man looks at a car that is covered in Hagen, Germany (Picture: AP)
North Rhine-Westphalia, Hagen: Residents look at the damage caused by the flooding of the Nahma the night before
North Rhine-Westphalia, Hagen: Residents look at the damage caused by the flooding of the Nahma the night before (Picture: PA)
The streets in Esch have turned into raging torrents in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
The streets in Esch have turned into raging torrents in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Picture: PA)

One man was missing in the eastern town of Joehstadt after disappearing while trying to secure his property from rising waters, authorities said.

Rail connections were suspended in large parts of North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state.

German weather service DWD predicted the rainfall would ease today.

Relentless rain through the night worsened conditions in eastern Belgium, where one person was reported drowned and at least one other was missing.

Some towns saw water levels rise to unprecedented levels and had their centres turned into gushing rivers.

Major highways were inundated and in the south and east, and the railway authority said all services were stopped, adding that ‘alternative transport is highly unlikely’.

In eastern Eupen, on the German border, one man was reported dead after he was swept away by a torrent, a local governor told RTBf network.

In Liege, the Meuse river could break its banks by early afternoon and spill into the heart of the city. Police warned residents to take precautionary measures.

Authorities in the southern Dutch town of Valkenburg, close to the German and Belgian borders, evacuated a care home and a hospice overnight amid flooding that turned the tourist town’s main street into a river, media reported.

The government sent 70 troops to the southern province of Limburg late on Wednesday to help with transporting evacuees and filling sandbags as rivers burst their banks. There were no reports of injuries linked to flooding in the Netherlands.

Unusually intense rain has also inundated a stretch of north-east France this week, downing trees and forcing the closure of dozens of roads. A train route to Luxembourg was disrupted, and firefighters evacuated dozens of people from homes near the Luxembourg and German border and in the Marne region, according to local broadcaster France Bleu.

The equivalent of two months of rain has fallen on some areas in the last one or two days, according to the French national weather service. With the ground already saturated, the service forecast more downpours on Thursday and issued flood warnings for 10 regions.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Related posts

China to ‘prop up Taliban’ in Afghanistan to seize power in Middle East as US & NATO retreat after 20 year ‘forever’ war

admin

Foul-mouthed note to selfish panic buyers goes viral as Delta Covid variant shuts down Australia once again

admin

Social distancing ‘will be scrapped in England after July 19’

admin

Leave a Comment