At least 21 people were killed and dozens missing on Thursday after heavy rains in western Germany caused several rivers to overflow and flood homes and basements. Guardian.
Police said four people had died and 70 had disappeared near the Ahrweiler wine-growing region in Rhineland-Palatinate, after the Rhine River, which flows into the Rhine, overflowed and several houses were broken into. Reuters.
A local Ahrweiler fled after a flood warning was issued at 2 am. “I have never experienced such a catastrophe in which the river came out of the womb in such a short time”The 63-year-old man told a local television station.
To the north, in North Rhine-Westphalia, two people were found dead in a flooded basement in Cologne, and other deaths were recorded in Solingen, Unna and Rhinebach, police said. Two firefighters died in this ground on Wednesday evening.
About 50 people were trapped on the roofs of houses in Ahrweiler, and several houses were in danger of collapse. Police helicopters flew over the area to rescue the people.
“It’s a disaster”
Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer said he intended to visit the floodplain. “It’s a tragedy! We have dead, missing and many people still in danger. All our emergency services are operating non-stop”Dreyer said.
Below, on the Rhine, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in 24 hours flooded cities including Cologne and Hagen, while in Leverkusen 400 people had to be evacuated from hospital.
In Wuppertal, famous for the Hawaiian railway, locals said their basements were flooded and electricity had been cut.
Prime Minister Armin Laschet, the Conservative candidate to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor in September’s general election, was due to visit Hagen on Thursday.
Meteorologists said that the rainfall in the region in the last 24 hours is unprecedented.
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