News ID: 314900
Published: 1253 GMT July 18, 2021

Flash floods hit Bavaria as European death toll climbs to 183

Flash floods hit Bavaria as European death toll climbs to 183
A pile of broken trees and debris is seen in a flooded area following heavy rainfalls in Kreuzberg, Germany, on July 17, 2021.

Flash floods hit southern Germany on Sunday, killing at least one person and adding to the flooding devastation that has claimed the lives of more than 180 people in Europe in recent days.

The Berchtesgadener Land district in Bavaria, which borders Austria, became the latest region to be hit by record rainfall and ensuing floods. Sunday's death brought Germany's death toll to 156 in its worst natural disaster in almost six decades, and the European toll to 183, Reuters reported.

About 110 people have been killed in the worst-hit Ahrweiler district south of Cologne. More bodies are expected to be found there as the flood waters recede, police said.

The European floods, which began on Wednesday, have mainly hit the German states of Rhineland Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia as well as parts of Belgium. Entire communities have been cut off, without power or communications.

In North Rhine-Westphalia at least 45 people have died, while the death toll in Belgium stood at 27.

Scientists have long said that climate change will lead to heavier downpours. But determining its role in these relentless rainfalls will take several weeks to research at least, scientists said on Friday.

In Belgium, which will hold a national day of mourning on Tuesday, water levels were falling on Sunday and the clean-up operation was underway. The military was sent in to the eastern town of Pepinster, where a dozen buildings have collapsed, to search for any further victims.

Emergency services in the Netherlands remained on alert as water levels are still high throughout the southern province of Limburg where tens of thousands of people have been evacuated.

In Hallein, an Austrian town near Salzburg, powerful flood waters tore through the town centre on Saturday evening as the Salzach river burst its banks, but no injuries were reported.



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