More of 90 dead and 1,300 missing it is at the moment in tragic balance left by the storms and floods that are sweeping central Europe. Entire areas have been devastated by the force of the waters in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, causing deaths and great damage that have not yet been quantified, while emergency teams remain on alert despite the fact that the rains have subsided in recent hours.
Germany is the country most affected by the meteor. At least 80 people have died as a result of the floods in the east of the country, and 1,300 people are still missing, according to the latest balance of the authorities.
“The fear is that figure has to be corrected upwards “, said a police spokesman for Koblenz, a city located at the mouth of the Moselle river, whose waters go to the Rhine, one of the affected areas.
The rains have subsided but the situation in the affected regions remains tense.
The number of missing is difficult to estimate with precision since, according to a spokeswoman for the Ahrweiler district, there has been a collapse of mobile phone lines so that many people have not been able to be contacted.
The army has destined 900 soldiers to collaborate in rescue work and search for missing persons in the federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia.
In total, according to the Ministry of the Interior, there are 15,000 people working in rescue work.
The economic damages of the storm have not yet been estimated but taking into account that it has affected roads, railway lines and bridges as well as houses and private companies, a fairly high amount is expected.
The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate has allocated a first emergency consignment of 50 million euros to mitigate the damage.
Belgium and the Netherlands
In Belgium, at least eleven people have died in floods, especially in the southern and eastern provinces of the country.
The Belgian province of Liège is still badly affected by floods and the torrential rains that have particularly hit that area of the country, where most of the fatalities have been accounted for.
In the city of Chaudfontaine found two lifeless bodies Thursday night, according to the local press and the mayor, Daniel Bacquelaine.
In Aywaille Township, where the body of a man in his fifties was previously found, Mayor Thierry Carpentier reported that it was they had evacuated several campsites.
In the Hemeco area, firefighters counted more than 400 interventions since Wednesday in various towns, including Wanze, where they tried to help an elderly woman who was finally carried away by the current and could not be rescued, according to local media.
At Pepinster, also in the province of Liège, a passed away under a partially collapsed bridge, according to municipal sources, who also reported the overturning of a rescue boat with five firefighters and three neighbors who have just been rescued from their homes. The former managed to get to safety, but the latter are missing.
In the town of Verviers, another of the most affected by the rain and flooding of the rivers, four corpses were found, They joined two others previously confirmed in the towns of Eupen and Aywaille, all of them in the vicinity of Liège.
In fact, throughout the afternoon of Thursday, the level of the Meuse rose in the center of the city of Liège and the water overflowed in several placesthe spokeswoman for the city’s police zone reported Thursday night.
Due to the heavy rains in recent days, the flood of the Meuse reached unusually high levels and forecasts indicate that the situation will only get worse, since a flow of up to 3,750 cubic meters per second is expected, something that had not happened for 100 years.
“This situation is a national calamity,” the head of the Government of the Wallonia region, Elio di Rupo, told the local station about the torrential rains, which have caused serious disturbances in some provinces, including the closure of roads, the interruption of rail transport and the derailment of a train.
State of disaster in the Netherlands and Luxembourg
In the neighbor Luxembourg, where in some areas up to 100 liters of rain per cubic meter were registered, the government of Xavier Bettel declared this Thursday state of natural disaster for the “dramatic situation” in the country, in which for now there is no need to deplore fatalities.
He too Dutch government of Mark Rutte declared on Thursday night the state of natural catastrophe in the province of Limburg, bordering Germany, where the increased damages and fatalities of storms affecting northern Europe.
Secretary of State Stientje Van Veldhoven traveled to Limburg on Thursday, who reported to the rest of Rutte’s cabinet the incalculable damage caused by the force of water to houses, businesses, roads and bridges. “This only happens every 200 years,” he said.