The death toll from the devastating floods in western Germany now stands at 135, while the search for missing persons and the evacuation of citizens continues in areas where new floods are feared.
The authorities of the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous in the country, and that of Rhineland Palatinate, the two affected federal states, fear that the discovery of victims continues in the rubble, amid the destruction left by the storms of the last 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 populations of the affected regions , the debris removal work is already being carried out, while the meteorological services predict that there will be no more notable 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 civil protection services and firefighters try to reinforce river banks 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, which led to landslides.
For this Saturday the visit of the country’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is expected in the region, 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.
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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 Chancellery. Since Thursday he has been in close contact with the regional authorities and with his finance ministers, Olaf Scholz, and interior ministers, Horst Seehofer, these sources said.
Next Wednesday it is expected that its Council of Ministers will address a special package of aid for those affected, advances the weekly Der Spiegel.
So far 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 which affected eight of the 16 Länder in the country, the Executive approved a special package of 8,000 million euros.
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Originally published at https://zaviews.blogspot.com.