BuzzFeed – News
Devastating Photos Of The Floods In Germany That Have Killed Over 100 People
Dozens have also been killed in neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands.
Rescue operations are ongoing as hundreds of people are still listed as missing, although officials hope the number will decrease as communications are restored. According to the Associated Press, dozens of residents were rescued from their roofs, where they had taken refuge from the rising waters. The full extent of the damage is still unknown; many have suddenly lost everything, as homes collapsed and cars were swept away in the storm.
Weather disasters are inextricably linked to human-induced climate change. The planet has already warmed 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, according to NASA, and that’s making disasters more dangerous and more costly. Stopping this vicious cycle will require drastically reducing our reliance on climate-polluting fossil fuels.
Yahoo – News
Photos reveal devastating impact as more than 125 killed by floods in Europe – ‘Warnings not taken seriously’
Over 120 people have died after floods swept through northwest Europe following heavy rainfall, devastating communities in Germany and Belgium.
The number of people who have died in the floods in the western part of Germany had risen to more than 100 by Friday afternoon.
More than 1,000 people were missing in the Neuenahr-Ahrweiler region, Koblenz police have reportedly said and entire communities have been completely ruined.
Record rainfall across western Europe saw the floods sweep through towns and villages, leaving people stranded, destroying homes, and washing cars down streets.
The floods have caused Germany’s worst loss of life in years and have also hit other countries, including Belgium, where 11 deaths have been reported.
Some 15,000 police, soldiers and emergency service workers have been deployed in Germany to help with the search and rescue.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he was “stunned” by the devastation caused by the flooding and pledged support to the families of those killed and to cities and towns facing significant damage.
“In the hour of need, our country stands together,” Steinmeier said in a statement. “It’s important that we show solidarity for those from whom the flood has taken everything.”
Hundreds of soldiers used tanks to clear roads of landslides and fallen trees, while helicopters helped winch people to safety.
A harrowing rescue effort unfolded In the German town of Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne, where people were trapped when the ground gave way and their homes collapsed.
“We managed to get 50 people out of their houses last night,” county administrator Frank Rock told German broadcaster N-TV.
Aerial photos showed what appeared to be a massive landslide at a gravel pit on the town’s edge..
“One has to assume that under the circumstances some people didn’t manage to escape,” Rock said.
Authorities were trying to account for hundreds of people listed as missing, but they cautioned that the high number could be due to duplicated reports and difficulties reaching people because of disrupted roads and phone service.
The governor of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, who is hoping to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel as the nation’s leader after Germany’s election in September said the disaster had caused immense economic damage to the country’s most densely populated state.
“The floods have literally pulled the ground from beneath many people’s feet,” Gov. Armin Laschet said at a news conference. “They lost their houses, farms or businesses.”
Federal and state officials have pledged financial aid to the affect areas, which also includes the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where at least 60 people died and entire villages were destroyed.
Watch: Fears death toll will rise as officials warn dam will burst
The unprecedented rainfall has been blamed on global climate change by both weather experts and local politicians.
After Germany, where more than 100 people have died, Belgium was the hardest hit by the floods that caused homes to be ripped away. Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told the VRT network Friday that the country’s official confirmed death toll had grown to 20, with 20 other people still missing.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has declared 20 July a national day of mourning.
“We are still waiting for the final toll, but this could be the most catastrophic flooding our country has ever seen,” he said.
Dr. Liz Stephens, Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Reading, said: “The flooding in Europe is a sobering demonstration of how even the most developed countries are not prepared for the impacts of climate change.
“Intense summer rainfall events are expected to occur more frequently under climate change, and national and local governments need to wake up to the danger and make sure that appropriate measures are taken to avoid the unacceptable number of fatalities that have been reported from this event.
“The floods in London earlier this week provide a warning that we are not immune to these kinds of flood impacts in the UK and should learn our own lessons from this disaster.”
As the water started to recede, stunned residents in the worst affected towns inspected what was left of their homes and neighborhoods.
In the German town of Schuld, houses were reduced to piles of debris and broken beams. Roads were blocked by wreckage and fallen trees and fish flapped and gasped on puddles of water in the middle of the street.
A rescue effort was underway at the end of the week, with the military joining residents in the clean-up operation.
Professor Hannah Cloke OBE, Professor of Hydrology at the University of Reading, added: “The deaths and destruction across Europe as a result of flooding is a tragedy that should have been avoided.
“For so many people to die in floods in Europe in 2021 represents a monumental failure of the system. The sight of people driving or wading through deep floodwater fills me with horror, as this is about the most dangerous thing you can do in a flood.
“Forecasters could see this heavy rain coming and issued alerts early in the week, and yet the warnings were not taken seriously enough and preparations were inadequate.
“These kind of high-energy, sudden summer torrents of rain are exactly what we expect in our rapidly heating climate.
“The fact that other parts of the northern hemisphere are currently suffering record-breaking heat-waves and fires should serve as a reminder of just much more dangerous our weather could become in an ever-warmer world.”
Watch: Floodwaters surge through German town as death toll rises
Death toll rises to at least 157 in Europe floods
The search for survivors in stranded vehicles as the floodwaters finally start to recede in western Germany. Burst rivers and flash floods this week collapsed houses and claimed at least 157 lives across across Europe.The German President visited the scene of some of the worst flooding in the town of Erftstadt, near Cologne, where the disaster killed at least 43 people. ‘We mourn with those that have lost loved ones….their fate is ripping our hearts apart’, he said. These floods are the country’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century. Hundreds of people are still missing. Over the past several days the floods have cut off entire communities from power and communications. In Belgium, the death toll rose to 24, according to the national crisis center, which is coordinating the rescue effort. Emergency services in the Netherlands also remained on high alert as overflowing rivers threatened towns and villages throughout the southern province of Limburg. Tens of thousands of residents in the region have been evacuated in the past two days, while soldiers, fire brigades and volunteers worked frantically throughout Friday night to enforce dykes and prevent flooding.
Death toll rises to 170 in Germany and Belgium floods
ERFTSTADT, Germany/WASSENBERG, Germany (Reuters) -The death toll in devastating flooding in western Germany and Belgium rose to at least 170 on Saturday after burst rivers and flash floods this week collapsed houses and ripped up roads and power lines.
Some 143 people died in the flooding in Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century. That included about 98 in the Ahrweiler district south of Cologne, according to police.
Hundreds of people were still missing or unreachable as several areas were inaccessible due to high water levels while communication in some places was still down.
Residents and business owners struggled to pick up the pieces in battered towns.
“Everything is completely destroyed. You don’t recognize the scenery,” said Michael Lang, owner of a wine shop in the town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in Ahrweiler, fighting back tears.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited Erftstadt in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the disaster killed at least 45 people.
“We mourn with those that have lost friends, acquaintances, family members,” he said. “Their fate is ripping our hearts apart.”
Around 700 residents were evacuated late on Friday after a dam broke in the town of Wassenberg near Cologne, authorities said.
But Wassenberg mayor Marcel Maurer said water levels had been stabilising since the night. “It’s too early to give the all-clear but we are cautiously optimistic,” he said.
The Steinbachtal dam in western Germany, however, remained at risk of breaching, authorities said after some 4,500 people were evacuated from homes downstream.
Steinmeier said it would take weeks before the full damage, expected to require several billions of euros in reconstruction funds, could be assessed.
Armin Laschet, state premier of North Rhine-Westphalia and the ruling CDU party’s candidate in September’s general election, said he would speak to Finance Minister Olaf Scholz in the coming days about financial support.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was expected to travel on Sunday to Rhineland Palatinate, the state that is home to the devastated village of Schuld.
In Belgium, the death toll rose to 27, according to the national crisis centre, which is coordinating the relief operation there.
It added that 103 people were “missing or unreachable”. Some were likely unreachable because they could not recharge mobile phones or were in hospital without identity papers, the center said.
COMMUNITIES CUT OFF
Over the past several days the floods, which have mostly hit the German states of Rhineland Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia and eastern Belgium, have cut off entire communities from power and communications.
RWE, Germany’s largest power producer, said on Saturday its opencast mine in Inden and the Weisweiler coal-fired power plant were massively affected, adding that the plant was running at lower capacity after the situation stabilized.
In the southern Belgian provinces of Luxembourg and Namur, authorities rushed to supply drinking water to households.
Flood water levels slowly fell in the worst hit parts of Belgium, allowing residents to sort through damaged possessions. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited some areas on Saturday afternoon.
Belgian rail network operator Infrabel published plans of repairs to lines, some of which would be back in service only at the very end of August.
HIGH ALERT IN THE NETHERLANDS
Emergency services in the Netherlands also remained on high alert as overflowing rivers threatened towns and villages throughout the southern province of Limburg.
Tens of thousands of residents in the region have been evacuated in the past two days, while soldiers, fire brigades and volunteers worked frantically throughout Friday night to enforce dykes and prevent flooding.
The Dutch have so far escaped disaster on the scale of its neighbours, and as of Saturday morning no casualties had been reported.
Scientists have long said that climate change will lead to heavier downpours. But determining its role in these relentless rainfalls will take at least several weeks to research, scientists said on Friday.
(Reporting by Petra Wischgoll and Leon Kuegeler in Erftstadt, David Sahl in Wassenberg, Matthias Inverardi in Duesseldorf, Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, Christoph Steitz in Frankfurt and Bart Meijer in Amsterdam Editing by Frances Kerry)