Bad weather in Germany: the toll rises to at least 42 dead, Angela Merkel “upset by the disaster”

DILUVIAN RAIN – Germany is particularly affected by the bad weather which hit several European countries Thursday. The death toll stands at at least 42, but could worsen as many people are still missing.

“I am overwhelmed by the disaster that so many people have to endure in the flooded areas”. As Chancellor Angela Merkel begins an official visit to the United States on Thursday, her country is hit by torrential rains and floods which have already killed 42 people.

The situation is particularly worrying in the west of the country. The district of Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate alone has 18 victims, Koblenz police said on Twitter. The toll could grow even worse. People are missing in this region, but also in the municipality of Schuld, south of Bonn, where six riverside houses have collapsed.

Relief operations still hampered by the floods

Some 135,000 homes were deprived of electricity Thursday morning. Due to a lack of power, the authorities undertook to evacuate the nearly 500 patients from the Leverkusen clinic. Help is trying to evacuate the victims, many of whom have taken refuge on the roofs of houses. But many accesses are still blocked, complicating operations.

Authorities called on residents to stay at home if possible and to “take refuge in the upper floors if necessary”. 300 German soldiers will be deployed in the most affected regions to participate in the rescue operations.

“We have never seen such a catastrophe”

“We have never seen such a catastrophe, it is really devastating”, lamented the leader of the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer. Armin Laschet, leader of North Rhine-Westphalia and favorite to succeed Chancellor in the fall, hastily called off a meeting of his party in Bavaria to monitor the situation in his state, the most populous in Germany.

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It’s a “tragedy” whose magnitude is “far from predictable”, for his part, warned the Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer in the daily Bild. “These extreme weather vagaries are the consequences of climate change”, added this Bavarian conservative, for whom Germany must “prepare much better”.

Neighboring the most affected German regions, Belgium, where bad weather left two dead, Luxembourg and the Netherlands also suffered significant damage.

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