Europe floods death toll exceeds 150 as waters recede

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BERLIN – The death toll from catastrophic flooding in Western Europe passed 150 dead on Saturday as rescuers scrambled to clean up the devastation and prevent further damage.

Police said more than 90 people have now died in Ahrweiler County in western Germany, one of the worst-affected areas, and more casualties are to be feared. On Friday, the authorities made a death toll of 63 for the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where Ahrweiler is located.

60 FLOODS IN GERMANY DOZENS MISSING

Another 43 people have been confirmed dead in the neighboring state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous in Germany. Belgian TV channel RTBF reported that the death toll in Belgium rose to 27 on Saturday.

Waters receded in much of the affected areas on Saturday, but officials feared more bodies could be found in the blown cars and trucks.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was planning to travel to Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne on Saturday, where a heart-wrenching rescue effort unfolded on Friday as people were trapped when the ground gave way and their homes collapsed. collapsed. Authorities feared some people had failed to escape, but as of Saturday morning no casualties had been confirmed.

Damaged houses are seen on the Ahr River in Insul, western Germany, Thursday, July 15, 2021 (Associated Press)
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Damaged houses are seen on the Ahr River in Insul, western Germany, Thursday, July 15, 2021 (Associated Press)

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Many areas were still without electricity and telephone service.

Besides Germany and Belgium the most affected, the south of the Netherlands has also been affected by heavy flooding. And heavy rains in Switzerland caused several rivers and lakes to overflow, with authorities in the city of Lucerne closing several pedestrian bridges over the Reuss.

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