At least 42 dead in disastrous floods


Mainz / Düsseldorf (dpa) – Entire landslides have been ravaged, with cities removed from the outside world and houses razed: at least 42 people have died after storms in western Germany. Dozens of people are missing in Rhineland-Palatinate. “We have never seen such a big catastrophe. It is really devastating,” Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) told Mainz on Thursday.

A clear picture of the situation after the continuous rain in many places cannot be obtained Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia they have seen. The streets were flooded and the cellars flooded with water. Lifeguards took people to the affected areas to safety, sometimes by boat. Many sought refuge from the floods in the trees and on the roofs of their homes and rescue helicopters were deployed. Dreyer said it is difficult to contact the missing because the cell phone network is down in some places.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) thanked the aides. “I am amazed at the catastrophe that so many people are experiencing in the flooded regions,” Merkel said, according to a tweet from government spokeswoman Steffen Seibert on Thursday. “My sympathy goes to the relatives of the dead and missing. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for the many tireless helpers and emergency forces.”

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