The death toll from severe flooding in western Germany rose to 81 last Friday, and more than 1,000 residents are believed to have disappeared in one of the country’s most devastating natural disasters in years.
Officials in the Ahrweiler district in southern Cologne said that as of Thursday night, 1,300 people appeared to be missing. However, the cellular network has been shut down, so it is difficult to explain the loss.
The district government wrote on its website: “Due to the complexity of the damage, it is not yet possible to make a final assessment of the situation.”
Heavy rains on Thursday caused flooding rivers to wash away many parts of Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate states. Transport networks in some areas were blocked, and houses in the Erfstadt district outside Cologne collapsed.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told this newspaper Mirror The government will seek to provide financial support to the hard-hit areas as soon as possible.
“In my entire political career in Germany, I have never seen a flood with such terrible consequences, causing so many deaths and disappearances,” Sihofer said. “No one seriously doubts that this disaster is related to climate change.”