Storms kill at least nine and dozens more in Germany
Heavy rains and flooding in western Germany have left at least nine dead and around 50 missing, as rising waters have resulted in the collapse of several houses, police said Thursday.
Four of those declared dead were in the municipality of Schuld where several houses were washed away by the floods, a spokesman for the police of the city of Koblenz told AFP.
The states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were the hardest hit by storms that overflowed rivers and threatened to bring down other homes.
Rescuers struggled to evacuate people from threatened buildings and two firefighters were killed while on duty in the towns of Altena and Wedohl.
Two men died in flooded cellars near Solingen and Unna while another fatality was reported in Rheinbach.
Police have set up a crisis hotline for people to report missing loved ones and residents have been asked to send videos and photos that could help with the search.
Rescuers deployed in helicopters to tear desperate people from streets and rooftops.
Regional manager Juergen Pfoehleer called on people to stay at home “and, if possible, go to the upper floors” of their homes.
“The situation is very serious,” he said.