August 3, 2021

at least nineteen dead and dozens missing

Torrential rains and floods have left nineteen dead and dozens missing in western Germany, according to a new report established Thursday, July 15 by local authorities. The district of Euskirchen, in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, announced in the morning the death of eight people, adding to the previous death toll. Many people are also missing in this region and the neighboring land of Rhineland-Palatinate. Hundreds of firefighters are mobilized to rescue the inhabitants of several affected localities.

The toll could grow heavier. Thus, in the municipality of Schuld, south of Bonn, where six houses by the river have collapsed, the police count between 50 and 60 missing. Four people died in this locality, where other houses threaten to collapse, according to the police in Koblenz (Rhineland-Palatinate). Residents of the area have been urged to send police videos and photos that could provide information on their missing relatives.

Further north, in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia, two firefighters died in intervention, while two men were drowned in their flooded cellar. In this region, the most populous in Germany, 135,000 homes are without electricity. Due to a lack of power, the authorities undertook to evacuate the nearly 500 patients from the Leverkusen clinic.

The west of Germany was hit by torrential rains, which swelled rivers, tore up trees, flooded roads and houses. Help is trying to evacuate the victims, many of whom have taken refuge on the roofs of houses. But many accesses are blocked, complicating operations. Authorities called on residents to stay at home if possible and to “Move to the upper floors if necessary”.

Two dead in Belgium

” It’s a disaster ! There are dead, missing and many people in danger ”, was alarmed the leader of the Rhineland-Palatinate region, Malu Dreyer, in a message on Twitter.

The regions of Saarland and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (northeast) have been placed on thunderstorm alert. On Tuesday, it was Bavaria, in the south of the country, which had been badly affected, the state of natural disaster having even been declared in the district of Hof, due to flooded roads.

Neighboring the most affected German regions, Luxembourg and Belgium are also affected by bad weather. Luxembourg triggered the plan ” severe weather “ as a result of heavy rainfall. Many homes are flooded across the country, and their residents have been evacuated, authorities said.

Much of southern and eastern Belgium woke up underwater on Thursday, especially in the greater Liège area, and at least two people were found dead victims of flooding linked to the torrential rains, according to the reports. media, adding to another death on Wednesday.

Rail traffic had to be interrupted at the end of the night, in particular on the Charleroi-Namur-Liège axis due to “Cascading incidents” (flooded tracks, falling trees, landslides on slopes, a derailment), announced the manager of the Infrabel network. Paralysis concerns “A large part of Wallonia” (French-speaking South and East), said a spokesperson for Infrabel, speaking of the situation “Unpublished” on this scale.

No Thalys train will run between Brussels and Germany on Thursday, the company managing these international links also reported on its website.

Read also Heavy flooding in southern Belgium and western Germany killed two

Floods and floods in eastern France

In France, bad weather is also affecting the Grand-Est region. The Meuse, Meurthe-et-Moselle and the Vosges, where significant flooding is possible, have been placed on “flood” orange vigilance, warns Météo-France. The municipalities of Briey, Longwy and Longuyon are affected by flooding, said the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle in a press release.

The railway lines between Thionville (Moselle) and Luxembourg have been interrupted since Thursday morning. “Reductions are also to be expected between Thionville and Metz following the flooding of the railway installations of the Luxembourg network. The Hagondange tunnel is flooded ”, announced the TER network on Twitter.

Haute-Saône, Haute-Marne, Doubs and Jura are on orange “rain-flood” alert. “Over the entire episode, the expected accumulations are expected to be substantial, ranging overall between 50 and 70 mm in the departments in orange vigilance, and even locally 90 mm in Haute-Marne and Jura. These accumulations represent from three weeks to one month of rain ”, Météo France note.

In addition, river traffic on the Rhine is interrupted on the eastern side of France, from Birsfelden, in Switzerland, to Germersheim, in Germany, via Kembs (Haut-Rhin) and Gambsheim (Bas-Rhin), according to the Rhineland Warning and Nautical Information Center in Gambsheim (Caring).

The World with AFP