In Photos: Germany, Belgium flooding devastates towns and villages – National

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Flash flooding continues to devastate parts of Germany and other western European countries Friday, with the death toll climbing to more than 125 people and more than a thousand people still missing.

Entire towns and villages lay in ruins after swollen rivers swept through the western German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Read more:
Death toll climbs to 120 in Europe floods as search for survivors continues

The European region is experiencing some of the worst floodings in decades, as a low-pressure system circling over the continent triggered record-setting rainfalls and catastrophic flooding.

“Some parts of Western Europe … received up to two months of rainfall in the space of two days. What made it worse is that the soils were already saturated by previous rainfall,” World Meteorological Organization spokesperson Clare Nullis told the Associated Press.

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While she said it was too soon to blame the floods and preceding heatwave on rising global temperatures, Nullis added: “Climate change is already increasing the frequency of extreme events. And many single events have been shown to be made worse by global warming.”

Here is a look in pictures and videos at the devastation the flooding has brought to the region.

One of the worst-hit areas in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate is the municipality of Schuld, where about 700 people live.

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Two men try to remove goods from next to the debris of houses destroyed by the floods in Schuld.


BERND LAUTER/AFP via Getty Images


A man walks through the floods towards destroyed houses in Schuld near Bad Neuenahr, western Germany, on July 15, 2021.


BERND LAUTER/AFP via Getty Images


Debris of houses and trees surround houses in Schuld, Germany, Friday, July 16, 2021.


AP Photo/Michael Probst

The village of Insul in Rhineland-Palatinate is also largely destroyed after massive rainfall and flooding of the river.

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The village of Insul in Rhineland-Palatinate is largely flooded after massive rainfall.


Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images


The village of Insul in Rhineland-Palatinate is largely destroyed and flooded after massive rainfall and flooding of the river Ahr.


Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

In Germany alone, 103 people have died in what is the country’s worst mass loss of life in years. Twelve of the dead were residents of a home for people with disabilities in Sinzig south of Cologne who were surprised by the flash floods during the night.

Some 114,000 households in Germany were without power and mobile phone networks collapsed in some flooded regions, which meant that family and friends were unable to track down their loved ones.

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North Rhine-Westphalia, Erftstadt, Germany: Trucks are wedged into each other on a flooded highway.


Marius Becker/picture alliance via Getty Images


A resident stands next to debris and a damaged car in Iversheim, near Bad Muenstereifel, western Germany, on July 16, 2021, following heavy rains and floods.


INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

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Belgium is also on high alert as floodwaters continue to destroy towns and villages, including Pepinster near Liege. Belgian media also put the death toll at at least 14 people, with a further four missing.

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A view of a flooded street in Liege region, Belgium, after heavy rainfall, Wednesday, July 14, 2021.


Philippe Bourguet/bePress Photo Agency/bppa/ABACAPRESS.COM


A view of a flooded street in Liege region, Belgium, after heavy rainfall, Wednesday, July 14, 2021.


Philippe Bourguet/bePress Photo Agency/bppa/ABACAPRESS.COM


A rescue worker helps residents evacuate as floodwaters run down a main street in Pepinster, Belgium, Thursday, July 15, 2021.


AP Photo/Olivier Matthys


People use rubber rafts in floodwaters after the Meuse River broke its banks during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium, Thursday, July 15, 2021.


AP Photo/Valentin Bianchi

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Hundreds of people fled their homes around the southern Dutch town of Meerssen after floods broke through a dyke on Friday, as rising waters left a path of destruction across the region.

Emergency services said the floodwaters were about to swamp the surrounding villages of Bunde, Voulwames, Brommelen and Geulle. Sirens sounded and drone footage showed water flowing into streets and homes.

“Immediately leave your home and get to safety,” the emergency services said in an online alert. “There is a large hole in the dyke.”

Families were told to turn off their electricity and gas supplies.

The flooding was expected to impact about 3,000 people, local emergency services spokeswoman Samantha Wisniewski said.

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Dutch royals inspect the damage caused by extreme flooding on July 15, 2021 in Valkenburg, Netherlands.


Photo by Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COM


Dutch royals inspect the damage caused by extreme flooding on July 15, 2021 in Valkenburg, Netherlands.


Photo by Robin Utrecht/ABACAPRESS.COM


Firefighters are seen helping to evacuate residents on July 15, 2021 in Valkenburg, Netherlands. The south of Limburg was hit by extremely high water levels on Thursday as a result of the heavy rainfall in recent days. Streets and houses were flooded and villages had to be evacuated because of the flooding.


Patrick van Katwijk/BSR Agency/Getty Images

–With files from Reuters. 




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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