The wave of bad weather which violently hit Northern Italy in recent days has caused chaos and damage even in the heart of Europe between Germany, Netherlands, Belgium e Switzerland, with flooding, flash floods e strong winds.
Germany is among the most affected countries: in particular, torrential rains have fallen on Saxony, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia, which should continue at least until tomorrow.
Twenty people died and over 70 are missing due to heavy rains that hit western Germany, where 6 houses were swept away by a river: the police said today. “Lots of people”Dispersed were found on the roofs of houses that were overwhelmed by the river in flood a fault, in Rhineland-Palatinate, confirmed a spokesman for the Cologne police. Dozens of houses are in danger of collapsing.
Schuld, with just under 700 inhabitants, belongs to the district (Landkreis) of Ahrweiler, and is located on the border between North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Two firefighters drowned and the army was deployed to help stranded residents Wednesday after a slow-moving low-pressure weather system caused exceptional flooding.
The German Meteorological Service issued a weather alert yesterday for some western areas, while Hagen, a city of 180,000, declared a state of emergency after a river broke its banks.
“We still don’t have a clear picture of how many victims there are” e “we look for missing people with helicopters,”Said the minister-president of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet. “The town of Hagen is particularly affected by the high water catastrophe. There is no other city that has remained so isolated since yesterday“. “There are a lot of flooded cellars, a lot of people got stuck in the houses“. “Many people have lost their homes and there is a lot of damage to businesses, not yet measurable“. “Tomorrow there will be a special cabinet session to analyze the situation and quantify the damage“Announced the governor. “We will not leave the Municipalities alone, but we will act as Land, so that the consequences of this catastrophe can be faced in solidarity“.
The heavy rain, which fell continuously in the last few hours, caused the flooding of all the small and medium-sized watercourses of the Laender of the Saarland, Westphalia and the Rhineland. The level of the Moselle also rises over the course of the hours, and there is a lot of attention to the conditions of the Rhine. The firefighters are engaged in hundreds of interventions, also to free the people trapped in the houses. In addition, it is estimated that around 200,000 people were left without electricity.
The German railways have urged not to travel to Westphalia.
Given the gravity of the situation, the army has also been mobilized to take part in the rescue operations of the people who have been stranded. About 200 Bundeswehr soldiers, with heavy vehicles, were deployed in North Rhine Westphalia. In the nearby land of Rhineland-Palatinate, the defense ministry has made available 70 soldiers with multifunctional vehicles capable of reaching isolated villages. Four helicopters were also made available for rescue and transport.