Xinhua News Agency, Brussels, July 18, report: At least 187 people killed in European floods have not subsided
Xinhua News Agency reporter
Floods caused by heavy rainfall in central and western Europe have not yet fully subsided. As of the afternoon of the 18th local time, at least 187 people were killed in the floods, including 156 in Germany and 31 in Belgium.
The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate was the hardest hit, and at least 110 people have died. As the search and rescue operations continue, the number of casualties is expected to rise further. According to information on the German government website, there are currently about 900 Bundeswehr officers and soldiers involved in the rescue.
German Chancellor Merkel said in the town of Schulder in Ahrweiler County, Rhineland-Palatinate on the 18th, that the federal and state will work together to help the disaster-stricken areas gradually restore order. On the 21st, the German government will approve a plan that includes rapid assistance, mid-term missions and infrastructure restoration.
According to Belgian media reports, more than 120 cities and towns across the country were affected by the disaster. So far, 163 people have been missing and nearly 40,000 homes have not recovered electricity. Belgian Prime Minister De Crowe said that the flood may be “the worst flood that the country has ever encountered” and that “the disaster is related to climate warming.”
The Belgian Federal Government announced July 20 as a national day of mourning, and the National Day activities originally scheduled for the 21st will also be reduced in scale. The Belgian army and civil organizations have spontaneously supported the victims in various ways. The Red Cross collects donations and opened a special account to raise funds.
On the 17th, European Commission President Von der Lein and De Crowe visited the hard-hit Belgian Rochefort and Pepinster regions. Von der Lein said that the European Union has activated a civil protection mechanism and coordinated the deployment of 170 rescuers, helicopters, and search and rescue ships to assist the disaster area.
On the evening of the 16th, Prime Minister Rutte of the Dutch Caretaker Cabinet visited the severely affected area. The Dutch government has declared the flood to be an official disaster, which means that the government will provide partial compensation.
The Prime Minister of Luxembourg Bettel visited the disaster area for two consecutive days to support and encourage the victims. According to estimates by the Luxembourg Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies, the national flood damage compensation amount is approximately 50 million euros.
Affected by heavy rainfall at night on the 17th, floods occurred in many areas on the border between western Austria and Germany. According to the local emergency rescue department, there are no reports of casualties or missing persons, but serious property losses.
The water level of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland reached a record high of 430.69 meters on the morning of the 18th. It was classified as a fourth-level flood risk by the Swiss Federal Environment Agency, second only to the highest level five. (Participating reporters: Li Jizhi, Zhang Yirong, Pan Geping, Yu Tao, Chen Junxia, Xie Lijing)
【Editor in charge: Ma Junqing】