Cyclone “Bernd” brought heavy rains with it to several federal states of Germany at once, causing floods and collapsing houses. Unfortunately, there were human casualties.
The number of victims of the aggression of nature in western Germany has reached 19 people, 70 people are missing, reports the Associated Press. In many cities there is no electricity supply, about 200 thousand people were left without electricity in Rhineland-Palatinate in southwestern Germany and in North Rhine-Westphalia. There is no cellular connection either.
Authorities have declared a state of emergency in the Ahrweiler area, urging residents to stay at home and, if possible, move to higher floors. Several cities, police said, are cut off from the outside world. Some residents await lifeguards on the rooftops of their homes. Helicopters are used to rescue people, volunteers have joined the emergency services.
According to the latest data, more than 20 people have already become victims of the disaster, and this is not final data. In the area of Merkischer Kreis (North Rhine-Westphalia), two firefighters died, one of them was 46, the other was 52 years old. The two dead were found in a flooded basement in Cologne. Euskirchen County reported 8 deaths. At the hospital in Leverkusen, where more than 400 patients are staying, the emergency power supply has failed. The medical facility will be evacuated.
Rescue teams from neighboring Unna and Minden were sent to the city of Hagen, located in North Rhine-Westphalia. The city was visited by Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and candidate for Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany from the CDU / CSU.
Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, said she was shocked by the aftermath of the devastating flooding in western Germany. Olaf Scholz, Vice-Chancellor of Germany, also expressed concern about the situation, the press service of the German Cabinet of Ministers reports. Scholz stated:
“The flood reports are shocking. Now it’s about quick relief. I thank the emergency workers who risk their lives. My thoughts are with the missing, the dead, their loved ones and everyone whose homes were flooded.”
Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s main rail operator, has urged passengers to refrain from traveling to North Rhine-Westphalia as many sections of the railroad were under water and unusable.
Six houses collapsed due to the sinking, leading to human victims. Another 25, in the Eiffel area, are under threat of collapse, SWR reported, citing police. A Koblenz police spokesman told Reuters:
“There are currently an unknown number of people on the roofs of houses who need to be rescued. There are many places where firefighters and rescuers are stationed. We do not have a very accurate picture yet, because rescue operations continue. “
The flooding affected the neighboring Netherlands (no casualties were reported) and Belgium (2 people died).