Deadly flooding leaves trail of damage in Germany
At least 93 fatalities occurred in Germany, while there have been 12 deaths in Belgium, according to local media reports.
A total of 1,300 residents remain missing in the Ahrweiler district in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, the district government said.
In the village of Schuld and elsewhere, houses were swept away after rivers burst their banks following days of extreme rainfall.
Speaking from Washington on Thursday, Angela Merkel expressed her sorrow at the events unfolding in her home country, calling it a day “characterised by fear, by despair, by suffering”.
Her potential successor as chancellor, Armin Laschet, the premier of the badly-affected state of North Rhine-Westphalia, blamed the climate crisis for the catastrophe.
“We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures… because climate change isn’t confined to one state,” he said.
Deaths have been reported in Belgium too, with the mayor of Liège ordering residents to evacuate their homes on Thursday. The Netherlands and Luxembourg have also been affected by severe flooding.
More torrential rain and further flooding is expected in Europe this week, meteorologists have said.
Belgium warns against travel as death toll hits 14
People in the south and east of Belgium should avoid travel because of the danger of flooding, the country’s crisis centre has advised.
The warning comes as the death toll from the floods rose to 14, according to the Belgian media. A further four people remain missing.
In Maaseik, a town on the border with the Netherlands, the Meuse had risen above a retaining wall.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 11:11
German military helps with flood-response efforts
The Germany military – the Bundeswehr – will focus most of its attention on the flood-response efforts, the defence minister has said.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Friday: “I have already ordered that all other assignments that are not directly related to the missions abroad be put on hold.
“The Bundeswehr is already providing active help with emergency response and clearing work with its quickly available on-site forces.”
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 10:50
Death toll in Belgium and Germany rises above 100
The death toll from flooding in Belgium and Germany has risen above 100.
This comes after the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said 43 of its residents had died, after the neighbouring region of Rhineland-Palatinate confirmed 50 fatalities.
More than 10 people are thought to have died in Belgium after extremely heavy rainfall.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 10:31
Photos reveal scale of destruction
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 10:15
Further flooding feared in Germany as another dam breach looms
Parts of western Germany are braced for more flooding on Friday, with the death toll currently standing at more than 80.
There are also fears that another dam, the Steinbachtalsperre between Ahrweiler and Erftstadt, could be breached.
This comes after several dams in Germany have already burst after heavy rainfall.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 10:05
Sign up to The Independent’s free virtual event on the climate crisis
The last few weeks have been full of extreme weather events – from the unprecented heatwave in North America to the catastrophic flooding in Europe.
To discuss the issues raised by these phenomena, The Independent is putting on a free virtual event, led by a panel of climate experts.
It will take place on 28 July from 6.30-7.30 BST. You can sign up here:
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 09:50
The town of Walporzheim in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate was badly damaged by flooding earlier this week.
Giula Saudelli, a journalist at DW News who visited it, described the damage there as “astounding”.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 09:35
Climate change blamed for Europe floods
The flood death toll in Belgium and Germany now stands at more than 90 and is likely to rise further in the coming days.
The disaster has been blamed on climate change. Friederike Otto, from the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, told Deutsche Welle that the “intensity” of the weather is “being strengthened by climate change — and will continue to strengthen further with more warming”.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 09:21
‘Suffering keeps increasing,’ says German politician
Malu Dreyer, the premier of Rhineland-Palatinate, has told a German broadcaster that the country has never experienced such catastrophic flooding.
Speaking to ZDF on Friday, she said: “The suffering keeps increasing. Our country has never seen anything like it.”
More than 50 people have died in Rhineland-Palatinate, with another 30 confirmed fatalities in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 09:15
Photos: The week the world flooded
As well as the devastating floods in Germany and Belgium, parts of London and New York were left underwater this week.
Here’s Joe Sommerlad with some of the extraordinary photos taken in the past few days:
Rory Sullivan16 July 2021 08:55
More than 100 dead and 1,300 missing in ‘catastrophic’ Germany and Belgium floods – follow live