Catastrophic Floods In Western Europe Kill 120. Here’s A Look At The Destruction.
More than 120 people have died in floods across parts of Germany and Belgium, officials announced on Friday, as rescue workers continue to search for more than 1,000 people who still remain missing while water levels in the region continue to rise.
Officials have confirmed the deaths of at least 126 people as of Friday morning, with most of the reported deaths occurring in the western German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, AFP reported.
The death toll is expected to rise further as rescuers frantically search for more than 1,000 people who still remain missing, as water levels in Germany and Belgium continue to rise, according to Reuters.
Some 114,000 households in Germany and 21,000 people in Belgium have been left without power and mobile networks, making it difficult for people to track down their missing relatives.
While most of the fatalities have so far been reported in Germany, Belgian officials have raised alarm about the swollen Meuse river, which flows next to the city of Liege that has over 200,000 residents.
Following her meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the flood “catastrophe” during her joint press conference at the White House. “I fear that we will only see the full extent of the disaster in the coming days… My empathy and my heart go out to all of those who in this catastrophe lost their loved ones, or who are still worrying about the fate of people still missing.”
Experts in the region have warned such disasters could become more common due to climate change. Clare Nullis a spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization told the Associated Press some parts of Europe have received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days after the soil had already been saturated by earlier rainfall.