Europe

Dozens missing in flood-hit Germany as more heavy rain is forecast

Germany’s national weather service has said that regions hit by deadly floods last week could see more heavy rain this weekend.

Localised storms were likely to occur on Saturday before reaching large parts of Rhineland-Palatinate state, the DWD weather service said on Thursday.

The death toll from last week”s catastrophic floods in western Germany has now risen to 128 people.

Across the country, a total of 177 people have been confirmed dead, while another 32 people were killed in neighbouring Belgium.

The human toll is likely to rise further, with more than 100 people still missing in Germany.

More than 4,500 civil defence workers, firefighters, and soldiers have been deployed to help with cleanup efforts in the badly affected Ahr valley region of Rhineland-Palatinate. Authorities have also built a large camp for rescue workers at the Nürburgring race track.

On Wednesday, Germany’s Cabinet approved a €400 million package of immediate aid for flood victims and promised to quickly fund the rebuild of the worst-affected areas.

The extent of the damage of the floods is yet to be determined, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted on Thursday that it was “immense”.

At a news conference in Berlin on Thursday, Merkel noted that Germany’s railway operator, Deutsche Bahn, has said 600 kilometres of track had been affected.

“We will need a long time to repair all this damage,” she said.

Berlin is also considering calling on the European Solidarity Fund, which provides financial support to EU member states in the event of natural disasters.

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