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Several people missing in Germany as houses collapse in heavy rain

Vehicles travel on a flood affected road after the Erft river swelled following heavy rainfalls in Erftstadt, near Cologne, Germany, on July 15, 2021.
Vehicles travel on a flood affected road after the Erft river swelled following heavy rainfalls in Erftstadt, near Cologne, Germany, on July 15, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/ WOLFGANG RATTAY

Heavy rain and once-in-a-generation floods on Wednesday night caused the collapse of six houses in Germany's western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, leaving several people missing and many stranded on rooftops, police said on Thursday.

Some 30 people were missing and about 25 more homes were at risk of collapse in the district of Schuld bei Adenau, in the hilly Eiffel region, SWR broadcaster said earlier, citing police.

“We currently have an unclear number of people on roofs who need to be rescued,” a spokesperson for the Koblenz police told Reuters.

A woman wades across floodwater as she goes out shopping following heavy rainfalls in Gross-Vernich, Germany, on July 15, 2021.
A woman wades across floodwater as she goes out shopping following heavy rainfalls in Gross-Vernich, Germany, on July 15, 2021.
Image: REUTERS/ WOLFGANG RATTAY

“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed. We do not yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing,” the spokesperson added.

Two fireman drowned and the army was deployed to help stranded residents on Wednesday, after a slow-moving low-pressure weather system caused once-in-a-generation floods.

Rail, road and river transport was disrupted with shipping suspended on the Rhine river.

Heavy rainstorms could be expected in southwestern Germany on Thursday, with continuous rains until Friday evening, the German Weather Service warned in a morning bulletin.


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