Floods in Europe: More than 200 dead, hundreds more still missing

Photo: EPA-EFE / STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Germany and parts of the Netherlands and Belgium have been hit by the worst natural disaster in 60 years. The death toll continues to rise. The death toll in Germany and Belgium has exceeded 200, but hundreds more are still missing.

In Germany alone, at least 165 people have been killed, including four firefighters, and hundreds are still missing.

Experts warned of the possibility of a catastrophe four days before the torrent, but Germany was not prepared for the catastrophe, reports the BBC.

The government in Berlin has announced a thorough investigation into possible flaws in the flood defense system, but claims it has done everything it can.

"I can tell you that the system in Germany worked well. I'm not saying we won't fix some things, but reports that the system has failed are inaccurate. 150 warnings were sent from Wednesday morning to Saturday afternoon. Level 1 warning! So life threatening. "But we could not influence how the citizens reacted to these warnings," said Hers Seehofer, Germany's interior minister.

Suspicious damage

Citizens in the affected areas are desperate because they do not know who will and will pay for the damage suffered.

"I do not know what to do now. I have four children. This is really a disaster. Nobody told me how long it would take to renovate the place. This can take a year or two. "We lost our jobs, the biggest problem then is how to fix the house," said Ogog Laue, a resident of the Arweiler district.

Thirty-one people have been killed in Belgium, but authorities fear that number could continue to rise.

The floods did not bypass Italy either. Disturbing footage also comes from Austria, which has also been hit by torrential rains. The hardest hit were Salzburg and Hallein, where the stream swelled in just a few minutes and began to carry everything in front of it.

"Yesterday there was water all the way to the knees, and now we have to clean it," said Anna, a Salzburg resident.

Brussels warns that the fight against climate change, which brings disasters, must be systemic.

"The global picture is clear: We need to do more to protect ourselves from climate change. "So we have to be prepared for extreme incidents and we have to act fast," said Ursula von der Layen.

Residents of the regions of Germany and Belgium, which have been hardest hit by the catastrophic floods, have begun a huge task of clearing settlements as the waters begin to recede.

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