Flooding in Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany has seen the death toll climb to 108 with hundreds more missing, the majority of the deaths are in Germany, currently at 93. Devastating flash floods and torrential rains have caused a landslide that brought down the side of a mountain onto a village below. Power outages have been reported in all four countries as local infrastructure is overwhelmed. Rescue services were kept busy bringing people to safety, some by tractors while some had to be airlifted from the tops of their roofs.
The hardest hit area is North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) with 43 dead so far but many still unaccounted for after a recent landslide in Erfstadt-Blessem. German media is reporting that 1,300 people are unaccounted for. Regional Interior Minister Roger Lewentz said “the number of victims will likely keep rising in the coming days.” According to German newspaper Bild, “Houses were largely swept away by the water and some collapsed,” without warning.
In the Netherlands, thousands have been forced to evacuate in the city of Maastricht and power is out for many residents who are calling this the “river of death” referring to the water and flooding as it moves its way downriver from Germany and into the Netherlands and eventually out into the North Sea.
Gerd Landsberg, head of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities said the damage will run into the “billions of euros.” Heavy rain and flooding have been hitting Switzerland as well with parts of Zurich closed due to flash flooding.