BERLIN (AP) — At least six people have died and several people are missing in Germany after heavy flooding turned streams and streets into raging torrents, sweeping away cars and causing some buildings to collapse.
Police in the western city of Koblenz said in a tweet Thursday that four people had died in Ahrweiler county, and about 50 were trapped on the roofs of their houses awaiting rescue.
Six houses had collapsed overnight in the village of Schuld. “Many people have been reported missing to us,” police said.
Authorities have declared an emergency in the region after days of heavy rainfall. Large parts of western and central Germany, as well as neighboring countries have experienced widespread damage.
Police said an 82-year-old man died after a fall in his flooded basement in the western city of Wuppertal, which was among the hardest-hit.
A fireman drowned Wednesday during rescue work in the western German town of Altena, and another man was missing in the eastern town of Joehstadt after disappearing while trying to secure his property from rising waters, authorities said.
Relentless rains through the night worsened the flooding conditions in eastern Belgium, where one person was reported drowned and at least another was missing.
Some towns saw water levels rise to unprecedented levels and had their centers turned into gushing rivers.
Major highways were inundated and in the south and east of the nation, the railway service said all traffic was stopped, adding that “alternative transport is highly unlikely.”
In eastern Eupen, on the German border, one man was reported dead after he was swept away by a torrent, a local governor told RTBf network.
In Liege, the main city in eastern Belgium, the Meuse river could break its banks by early afternoon and spill into the heart of the city. Police warned the citizens to take precautionary measures.
Authorities in the southern Dutch town of Valkenburg, close to the German and Belgian borders, evacuated a care home and a hospice overnight amid flooding that turned the tourist town’s main street into a river, Dutch media reported.
An unknown number of houses in the southern province of Limburg were hit by flooding as rivers burst their banks. There were no reports of injuries linked to flooding in the Netherlands.
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