MAYEN, GERMANY – Heavy rains and floods lashing western Europe have killed at least 20 people in Germany and left around 50 missing, as rising waters led several houses to collapse on Thursday.
Unusually heavy rains also ravaged neighbouring Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, where another two people were reported dead.
Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) states were the worst hit by the unusually heavy rainfall, which has caused rivers to burst their banks and threatens to bring down more homes.
“We have never seen such a catastrophe, it is truly devastating,” Rhineland-Palatinate premier Malu Dreyer told state lawmakers. NRW leader Armin Laschet, who is running to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel in September elections, cancelled a party meeting in Bavaria to visit the scene in his state, Germany’s most populous. “The situation is alarming,” Laschet told the daily Bild.a