Death toll from catastrophic floods in Western Europe rises to more than 150
On Saturday, the death toll from catastrophic floods in Western Europe rose to more than 150, and rescuers are working to clean up the damage and prevent further damage.
According to the police, more than 90 people are known to have died in Ahrweiler County, one of the worst-hit areas in western Germany, and may cause more casualties. On Friday, the authorities announced that 63 people had died in the Rhineland-Palatinate state of Ahrweiler.
In neighbouring Germany’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, another 43 people have been confirmed dead. The Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported that the death toll in Belgium rose to 27 on Saturday.
By Saturday, water levels in most of the affected areas were receding, but officials feared that more bodies might be found in cars and trucks that were washed away.
German President Frank-Waltersteinmeier planned to travel to Erftstadt in southwest Cologne on Saturday, where a tragic rescue operation was launched on Friday, when people were trapped when the ground collapsed and houses collapsed. Officials worried that some people would not be able to escape, but as of Saturday morning, no casualties were confirmed.
There is still no electricity and telephone service in many areas.
In addition to Germany and Belgium, which were hardest hit by the disaster, the southern part of the Netherlands also suffered severe flooding. Heavy rain in Switzerland caused many rivers and lakes to burst their banks, and the city of Lucerne closed several pedestrian bridges on the Reuss River.