The death toll of the devastating floods in western Germany now amounts to 135, while continuing the search for the disappeared and the evacuation of citizens in areas where new overflows are feared.
The authorities of the land North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous in the country, and Rhineland Palatinate, the two affected Länder, They fear that the discovery of victims in the rubble will follow, amid the destruction left by the storms of recent days.
In the city of Heinberg, near the border with the Netherlands, hundreds of people had to be evacuated at night after breaking a containment dam, despite efforts to reinforce it.
In other towns in the affected regions, work is already underway to clear debris, while meteorological services predict that there will be no more significant rainfall this Saturday. Some 100,000 inhabitants are still without electricity supply in some towns or districts.
The rain alert persists, however, in other southern regions, especially in the land of Baden-Württemberg, where the civil protection and fire services try to reinforce riverbanks and valleys.
The devastating floods began on Thursday, after several days of persistent rains. The greatest damage has been caused by the overflowing tributaries of the Rhine and other large rivers in the region, unable to absorb the volume of water, resulting in landslides.
For this Saturday the visit of the country’s president is expected in the region, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who in an institutional statement on Friday called for national unity in the face of the tragedy and to accelerate the fight against the climate emergency.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was surprised by the catastrophe during an official visit to the United States, also intends to visit the affected areas “soon”, according to the Foreign Ministry. Since Thursday he has been in close contact with the regional authorities and with his finance ministers, Olaf Scholz, and interior minister Horst Seehofer, these sources said.
Next Wednesday, its Council of Ministers is expected to approve a special aid package for those affected, according to the weekly The mirror.
Until now, it has not been possible to make a rough assessment of the amount of damage caused by the flood.. In the 2013 floods, less dramatic but affecting eight of the 16 countries of the country, the Executive approved a special package of 8,000 million euros.
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