European flood death toll climbs
Crews rescued 50 people in a town southwest of Cologne, Germany, after the ground beneath their houses gave way and the buildings collapsed. But others haven’t been so fortunate—water suddenly overflowed the banks of a nearby river in the hard-hit state of Rhineland-Palatinate and killed 12 people in a facility for disabled people. Most of the more than 190 deaths attributed to heavy rain and flooding in western Europe have occurred in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the flood-ravaged village of Schuld on Sunday and said she saw a “surreal, ghostly situation.”
What about nearby countries? Besides Germany, Belgium endured serious damage. Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told the VRT network on Friday that dykes along a river between Belgium and the Netherlands could collapse. Italy sent rescue support to the country. Southern regions of the Netherlands have also evacuated residents and declared flood regions disaster areas, and heavy rain in Switzerland has flooded basements and destroyed small bridges.
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