At least 42 dead, and dozens of missing people. According to the latest figures provided by the police, the number of victims of the heavy rains and floods that hit the west of the Germany, destroying houses e dragging cars into the water. Two landers in particular touched, the Norderno-Vestfalia and the Rhineland-Palatinate. Just the Minister of the Interior of this land, Roger Lewentz (Spd), he made it known that only in his region are they found lost between 50 and 70 people. At least 200 thousand people were left without electricity.
The Chancellor, today in Washington, said she was “Shocked by the catastrophe” who is causing suffering to many people and expressed his condolences for the victims and the missing and the closeness to their families. Particularly affected is the district of Bad Neuenahr Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate, where 18 victims were recorded. While the Cologne police speak of 20 deaths in the area south of the Westphalian city, in Euskirchen.
According to police sources, among the dead there are also two firefighters, who died while providing assistance. Hundreds, on the other hand, were rescued thanks to the help of some boats in the Kordel area, one of the centers most affected by the flood. In this area, according to reports from the picture, there would be no deaths or missing.
Germany is not the only country hit by the very violent storm. Heavy rains also caused victims in eastern Belgium: the number, stuck at 1 dead for many hours, then rose to 5 dead. The floods affected in particular the province of Liège, Wallonia, but also some areas of Flanders. Four bodies of the victims were found in Verviers, a city very close to the border with Germany. The Meuse River came out of its banks in Namur, about sixty kilometers south of Brussels, and in Liège the authorities asked the population to leave their homes near the river. In Liège, the authorities asked the population to evacuate the houses located near the Meuse
To cope with what has been defined “The worst bad weather of the last 300 years”, the Dutch authorities have decided to deploy the army in the south of the country. Also from the border area with the Netherlandsin fact, in the southeastern province of Limburg, dozens of people have been forced to flee their homes and seek shelter in hotels and sports centers. The task of the military is to help people to escape after the closure of several roads and highways due to flooding. At least six houses have collapsed and another 25 are at risk.
“My thoughts go out to the families of the victims of the devastating floods in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and to those who have lost their homes. L’European Union is ready to help“. The president of the European Commission wrote on Twitter Ursula von der Leyen. “The countries concerned can use the EU civil protection mechanism,” he added. Thought also shared by the president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli.
However, the most affected area remains that of western Germany, so much so that, at the moment, i rail links have been suspended in much of North Rhine-Westphalia, one of the most populous areas in the country. The German Meteorological Service has predicted that rainfall will subside over the course of the day.
Already this morning the governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, Armin Laschet, in the running to succeed ad Angela Merkel as chancellor in the German elections this autumn, he defined the situation as “dramatic”, an expression that was later taken up by the chancellor herself. Visiting the town of Hagen, one of the most affected, the president of the land had pointed out: “There are many cellars flooded and many people have been stuck in their homes.” Then announcing that only tomorrow there will be “a special cabinet session” to analyze the situation and quantify the damage.
The accumulation of heavy rain, he said Laschet speaking to the German media, “it is linked to climate change”. “It means that we need to be faster with climate protection measures at the European, national, global level,” he added.