Hundreds of people were killed, missing in severe floods in Germany

The total number of people killed in the severe floods that hit Germany this month has reached 180 people and about 150 people are still missing. The German hydrometeorological agency warned people to remain vigilant as more rain is forecast this weekend.

Destruction after floods in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, July 19, 2021. Photo: AFP
Destruction after floods in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, July 19, 2021. Photo: AFP

According to German police, the Rhineland-Palatinate region, which was hardest hit, confirmed 132 people were killed and 766 injured while 149 others were still missing. Currently, the police force is still searching for the missing people, mobilizing helicopters and 30 sniffer dogs. The neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia region recorded 47 deaths and 2 missing. Meanwhile, neighboring Belgium also recorded 36 deaths because of this flood.

Not only causing loss of life, floods have destroyed many sections of Germany's historic railway line. National railway company Deutsche Bahn (DB) said it was the first time the system had been so severely damaged, and acknowledged that it would be difficult to fix and repair the system. The devastating floods last week also paralyzed many highways and highways while the power grid was damaged and many homes were washed away.

The total damage to railway infrastructure in Germany is estimated at nearly 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion), about 50 bridges, 40 signal boxes, 180 railway overpasses and more than 1,000 devices. Other parts of the whole system have been damaged. DB will make efforts by the end of 2021 to restore about 80% of damaged infrastructure and equipment. However, a DB representative said the current challenge is great when some roads in West Germany are still flooded or have been washed away by flood water, so the repair and restoration of damaged sections can take a long time. months or maybe years.

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