At least 60 dead and dozens missing in severe flooding in western Europe

At least 60 dead and dozens missing in severe flooding in western Europe

More than 60 people were killed and dozens were missing Thursday as severe flooding in Germany and Belgium turned streams and streets into raging torrents that swept away cars and caused homes to collapse.

At least 60 dead and dozens missing in severe flooding in western Europe

Recent storms in parts of Western Europe have caused rivers and reservoirs to overflow, triggering flash floods overnight after saturated ground was unable to absorb more water.

“I regret the loss of life in this catastrophe,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Washington, expressing shock at the scale of the flooding.

She promised that everything possible would be done to find the missing, adding, “The heavy rains and floods do not reflect what happened.”

Authorities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia said at least 30 people had died, while 28 deaths were reported in the southern state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Belgian media reported eight deaths in that country.

One of the hardest-hit German towns was Schuld, where several houses collapsed and dozens of people were still missing.

Rescue operations were hampered by blocked roads and telephone and Internet outages in Eifel, a volcanic region of hills and small valleys.

Dozens of people had to be rescued from the roofs of their homes with inflatable boats and helicopters. Hundreds of soldiers were deployed to help in the rescue efforts.

At least 60 dead and dozens missing in severe flooding in western Europe

More than 60 people were killed and dozens were missing Thursday as severe flooding in Germany and Belgium turned streams and streets into raging torrents that swept away cars and caused homes to collapse.

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