Professor Ralf Merz of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig examines the reasons for the huge number of victims floods in Germany in an interview with the journalists of “Lenta.ru”.
Among the main ones is the unpreparedness of the population. The expert explains the large-scale damage, the large number of victims and missing persons by the fact that the population of the affected regions was not ready for a catastrophe of this kind – extreme natural aggression has not been observed there over the past decades. Merz believes that people simply did not expect such a powerful revelry of the elements:
“There weren’t enough warnings on the flood forecasting agency homepage or mobile app. We must be sure that in such a situation we will be able to reach all people in the flood risk zone, and that these people know about the danger, understand how to react. “
Another important factor, according to the expert, is too short a response time. Merz noted that although the weather forecasts warned of heavy precipitation in western Germany, everything was happening too quickly:
“The problem with the catastrophic flooding was that the water levels in the rivers were rising very quickly. Local residents reported that within 2 hours, small rivers with a water depth of 0.5 meters turned into rushing streams that overflowed the banks, and the depth of which reached a level of several meters. “
As reported by the newspaper “Bild”, the flood the deadliest in Germany over the past few decades. According to the Minister of the Interior of the Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Levenz, the number of victims may increase:
“As we pump water and empty the basements, we find human corpses. I cannot say what the final results will be. Many are missing, including the elderly. Some of them did not manage to get out of bed and go up to the second floor, everything happened so quickly. “
The elements did not spare the neighboring countries either. The Belgian TV channel RTBF reported yesterday that the number of flood victims in Belgium increased to 27 people, the bodies of nine were identified. another 20 are reported missing.