At least seven people have died in parts of western Germany amid heavy rains and flooding, local police said on Thursday.
About 30 people were missing after six houses collapsed in Germany’s western state of Rhineland-Palatinate following hours of torrential rain. About 25 more buildings in the Schuld region were at the risk of caving in, local police said.
“We currently have an unclear number of people on roofs who need to be rescued,” a spokesperson for the Koblenz police said. Reports suggest about 50 people have been trapped on roofs to escape the flooding.
“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed. We do not yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing,” the spokesperson said.
Heavy rains lashed western Germany on Wednesday, causing massive property damage and prompting mass evacuations. Several motorways were closed.
Rhineland-Palatinate’s Vulkaneifel district was forced to declare a state of emergency as several areas were not accessible due to the torrential rain.
“The situation is very serious, we have many flooded roads and villages that are no longer accessible,” District Administrator Julia Gieseking said from the town of Daun late Wednesday.
She said the state of emergency would allow the military to join relief efforts.
The German Army sent over 230 soldiers and heavy machinery to help clear streets affected by flooding.
The German Weather Service has warned that southwestern parts of the country could expect heavy rainstorms on Thursday, with continuous downpour until Friday evening.
The premier of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, expressed her sympathy for the flooding victims.
“The storms have hit our state hard. I’m worried for everyone who is in danger,” she wrote in a tweet.
see/sms (Reuters, dpa, AFP)
Germany floods: At least 7 dead, 30 missing as storms lash western states | DW | 15.07.2021