Floods in western Germany and Belgium have resulted in over 120 deaths, officials said Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Hundreds of people are in danger or remain unaccounted for as search and rescue missions continue, At least 60 residents of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate have died, including 12 people in the town of Sinzig in an assisted living facility, who were caught off guard by a rush of water from the Ahr River, according to authorities, the AP reported.
Around 1,300 people are listed missing, German authorities said late Thursday, the AP reported. Although, they said the number could be a result of duplicated reports and strained communication from lack of phone service or disturbed roads.
Officials in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is north of the Rhineland-Palatinate, said the death toll is currently at 43, but that the figure could increase, the AP reported. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said she was “stunned” by the flooding and pledged to help families of those who have died as well as cities and towns that have been devastated by the natural disaster. (RELATED: Biden Says Communism Is A ‘Universally Failed System,’ And Socialism Is No ‘Useful Substitute’)
Rescuers in the town of Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne, are helping people trapped in their homes and regional authorities said several people had been killed when the ground beneath their homes suddenly sank and their houses collapsed, the AP reported.
“We managed to get 50 people out of their houses last night,” county administrator Frank Rock said, the AP reported. He told German broadcaster n-tv that 15 people still need to be rescued and that authorities didn’t have an exact death toll yet, but said, “One has to assume that under the circumstances some people didn’t manage to escape.”
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) July 16, 2021
Behind Germany, Belgium is the hardest hit by the floods and officials said the death toll sits at 18, while 19 are estimated to be missing, Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told VRT network Friday, the AP reported.
The German military has deployed more than 850 troops as of Friday morning, according to Defense Ministry spokesman Arne Collatz, the AP reported.
— Pascal Meier, MD (@DrPascalMeier) July 15, 2021
Dutch caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government was officially considering regions hit by the flood as disaster areas, which means businesses and residents are eligible for compensation due to damage, the AP reported.
“We have many, many citizens saying ‘I can offer a place to stay, where can I go to help, where can I registered, where can I bring my shovel and bucket?,'” Erik Schulz, the mayor of German city of Hagen, told n-tv, the AP reported. “The city is standing together and you can feel that.”
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