156 Dead As Heavy Rain Floods Western Germany; Evacuations Continue
Several houses, roads, and cars in have been flooded and wrecked by the heavy rain in Germany.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
At least 156 people have been reported dead so far as incessant rain inundated western Germany, taking the death toll in all of Europe to 183, as of 18 July.
"It is feared that other victims will be added," police in Germany, said in their statement, reports AFP. The statement also added that at least 670 had been injured, and that they number of fatalities and the injured may continue to go up.
In Rhineland-Palatinate state alone, one of the worst-hit regions in western Germany, police reported 110 dead, up from the previous toll of 98, said the AFP report.
One person also died in floods in Bavaria, southern Germany, on the Austrian border, which was hit by torrential rains on Saturday, 17 July.
In Austria, firefighters were on high alert in the Salzburg and Tyrol regions as the historic town of Hallein was under water.
In the Saxony region on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic, rivers rose on Saturday night, causing significant damage.
Several houses, roads, and cars in the Western Germany region have been flooded and wrecked by the downpour, which has led to an overflowing of local rivers, news agency Reuters reported, on 17 July.
Around 700 residents were evacuated late on Friday after a dam broke in the town of Wassenberg near Cologne, authorities said. The German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia have borne the brunt of the rainstorm, as per a BBC report.
A state of emergency has been declared in Schuld bei Adenau district of the country's hilly Eifel region, where several houses are on the verge of collapse.
Police helicopters have been deployed in the disaster-struck areas and are working towards the rescue of stranded citizens, many of whom have sought refuge from the floods on their rooftops.
"I saw the pizza store getting flooded. Half an hour later, the bakery was flooded too. There is a camping ground up there, so caravans and campervans came floating past, gas tanks. We were powerless against it. The flood came in so fast. I've never seen anything like it," a resident of Schuld told Reuters.
In the Ahrweiler region of the severely hit Rhineland-Palatinate state, the Ahr river burst through its banks and inundated the surrounding houses.
In the neighbouring Euskirchen region, many had to evacuate their homes as emergency officials pumped out the local dam, fearing it might overspill, Reuters reported.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the floods a "catastrophe" and expressed her condolences for the victims.
"My thoughts are with you, and you can trust that all forces of our government – federal, regional and community – collectively will do everything under the most difficult conditions to save lives, alleviate dangers and to relieve distress," she was quoted as saying by BBC.
(With inputs from Reuters, BBC and AFP)
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