September 19, 2021

Merkel visited the ‘Cell’ flood zone as the death toll rose

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that she was alarmed by the “suicide” catastrophe in the flood-ravaged region of West Germany, while the death toll in Germany and Belgium rose to 190 with dozens still missing.

The veteran leader said the world wanted to step up efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Because global temperatures are more likely to have severe weather events.

German flood
Germany faces worst flood of memories Photo: AFP / Christoph Stack

“We must hurry,” he said. “We need to step up our fight against climate change.”

Wearing hiking boots and offering relief workers a handful of epidemics, Merkel passed through the village of Schڈld in the Rhineland-Palatinate state, one of the two most affected areas in West Germany.

He listened to the accounts of the residents where the swollen river flooded the houses and the debris left in the streets piled up.

European flood timeline
Timeline photo of the deadliest flood in Europe in 20 years: AFP / Gail ROMA

Merkel, who is retiring from politics after the September election, called the damage “realistic” and promised immediate assistance for reconstruction.

“It’s shocking. I can almost say that there are no words to spread destruction in the German language,” he said.

Floods in Germany
Armin Lashit (L) was seen laughing during a visit to the flood-hit town. Photo: Poole / Sebastian Boson

At least 160 people have been killed in the worst flooding in Germany since Wednesday, police say.

Accompanying Merkel was Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malo Dreyer, who recorded 112 deaths.

When they walked together on the damaged roads, the Chancellor held the hand of Dryer, who has multiple sclerosis, to support him.

Floods in Germany
German troops called in to help clean up Photo: AFP / Torsten Sels

At least 31 people have lost their lives in neighboring Belgium.

Heavy rains in recent days have also caused havoc in Switzerland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria.

Floods in Germany
German troops use armored vehicles to pull cars off a flooded highway in Erfurtdt-Balsim, West Germany. The worst floods in Western Europe have killed more than 150 people and left dozens missing. Photo: AFPTV / Marion Piet

The catastrophe has brought climate change to the top of Germany’s agenda ahead of the September 26 election, which will signal the end of Merkel’s 16-year rule.

Experts say that because a warmer climate has more water, climate change increases the risk and intensity of flooding from heavy rains.

Armin Laschitt, prime minister of the flood-hit state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and leader in the channeling race, said global warming should be dealt with “quickly and permanently”. Should

“Climate delays will not be tolerated,” he said.

LaSalle’s campaign suffered a setback on Saturday when he was filmed laughing in the devastating town of Erfest in the NRW, while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a statement expressing his condolences to the bereaved families.

Lachett later apologized, saying he was deeply moved by the residents’ suffering and that his behavior was “not right” at the time.

Floods in Germany
Debris and a wrecked car pile up on a street in the West German town of Bernie Neuwenhr Ahrweiler. Photo: AFP / Christoph Stack

The impact of the floods on Europe’s top economies is slowly becoming clearer, damaged buildings are being assessed and efforts are underway to clear debris and restore gas, electricity and telephone services.

In some areas, police deployed speedboats and divers to retrieve the bodies.

The cleanup will take months, “even years,” Lashit said.

Most of the deaths are being investigated by Germany’s weather warning system and whether people in at-risk areas have been notified early.

The German Association of Cities and Towns called for “significant assistance” in emergency preparedness and warning systems.

Economy Minister Peter Altmeier told the daily that lessons have to be learned.

“Have we taken adequate precautions to recognize such incidents from time to time?” He asked.

REINLAND – With water shortages in Palettan and neighboring NRW, attention has shifted to the Bavarian region of Germany, where more rain was forecast for late Sunday.

In Upper Bavaria on Saturday, a man drowned in the basement after heavy rains and died after his banks burst due to rivers and fertilizers.

In the eastern state of Saxony, authorities reported a “significant threat” in several villages.

German Finance Minister Olaf Schulz has pledged 300 million euros (4 354 million) in emergency aid for homeless and homeless people, with the cabinet approving a major reconstruction package on Wednesday.

Schills said the final bill is expected to run in “billion” euros.

Heinz Gage, a 50-year-old resident of the heavily affected Spa town of Bud Newenh احr, said he had just completed a partial renovation of his home, which is now muddy.

“But neighboring countries are helping each other and there are a lot of volunteers who bring us water, ice cream, coffee and everything we need,” he told AFP.

Dozens of people were still missing across the border in Belgium, where police went from house to house in flood-hit areas to search for residents.

Copyright AFP. All rights reserved.

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