30 killed in Germany as heavy rain, flood wreak havoc
At least 30 people have been killed in Germany which is battered by heavy rain and floods. The local authorities say 50 people are missing, adding that rising waters led several houses to collapse on Thursday.
Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) are the states worst hit by the unusually heavy rain, which caused the Ahr river to burst its bank south of Bonn. Ahr is a tributary of the Rhine, the longest river in Germany.
"There are dead people, there are missing people, and many who are still in danger," Rhineland-Palatinate’s state premier Malu Dreyer was quoted as saying in regional parliament.
"We have never seen a catastrophe like this," the premier added. Rhineland-Palatinate has deployed all emergency services, which are working round the clock. Two firemen were killed in the line of duty in the towns of Altena and Werdohl, reported the local media.
Heavy rain accompanied by thunderstorms brought traffic to a stop in the area, toppled trees and overflowed basements on Wednesday.
In NRW, 135,000 households are reported to be without power.
The police in badly affected states have set up a hotline where people can report missing residents and relatives. The cops have also asked the locals to send the pictures of their loved ones which will help in looking for them.
Publications like Bild reported that some people are stuck on rooftops for which helicopters have been deployed. The German military has said it is ready to send its troops to assist in the rescue operation.