A spokesman for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) told reporters that heavy rains were causing devastating floods in Western Europe.
“Many lives were lost in Germany and Belgium, but not only the floods, but also the extreme heat and smoke from Siberia affected the air quality in parts of Scandinavia,” said WMO, a spokesman for the World Health Organization.
“Many people are still asking what is climate change,” he said.
He said the survey was conducted by leading meteorologists in late June after surprising climate change in parts of the US and Canada.
Two months of rain in two days
Parts of Western Europe received two months of rain, especially in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands on 14 and 15 July. The rivers came in spate after heavy rain. The dams had to be opened. All this led to floods.
According to various media reports, more than a thousand people are missing and more than 100 have died in the flood-affected areas of Germany and Belgium alone. The landslide also claimed many lives. Two firefighters were killed during a rescue operation in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
In addition, homes and buildings were destroyed and vehicles were swept away. Internet and telephone connections were cut in these areas. Traffic was light at this time of night.
The southwestern part of Germany was hardest hit by two days of heavy rains and floods. Traffic has been stopped on the Rhine and Ahr rivers due to landslides. Many houses were destroyed in these areas. Villages were shifted.
The league suffered a similar loss in Belgium. It is raining incessantly in the Netherlands and Switzerland. The German army has deployed 700 soldiers in the area for the rescue operation. Officials are concerned that more dams will have to be opened if the rains do not subside in the coming hours.
“We knew in advance that the rain would be extraordinary. However, it was not expected. It suddenly rained and turned into a flood. The rain is breaking all existing records,” said Dieter Gerten, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Scientists say that for the first time in 200 years, there has been such a heavy rain.
“At least two places have declared extreme levels of flood risk. We will provide aid and assistance to the families of those killed in the disaster and the cities that have suffered significant damage,” said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her condolences to the families of those killed and missing in the floods. She said the unexpected tragedy was shocking in itself.
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