The death toll from the devastating floods triggered by torrential rainfall in western and southern Germany has increased to more than 100, with thousands others missing, according to police and local authorities.
The federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate were hit particularly hard, with 43 people and 60 people dead, respectively, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It is a national disaster,” said Malu Dreyer, minister president of Rhineland-Palatinate at a press conference on FRiday, adding that “people can count on all forces in the country to stand together”.
A large number of people are still missing.
The district of Ahrweiler alone currently estimates about 1,300 missing people, while around 3,500 are being treated in care facilities.
“Due to the complex damage situation, a final assessment of the situation is not yet possible,” the district announced via Twitter.
North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister president Armin Laschet said that ways would need to be found to get roads, bridges and other infrastructure up and running again.
“A great national effort is required so that the worst things are quickly removed.”
More storms and heavy rainfall are expected to hit Rhineland-Palatinate and the federal state of Saarland.
The German Weather Service (DWD) warned of local thunderstorms with precipitation between 15 and 25 litres per square metre as well as hail and gale-force winds.