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Floods in parts of northern Europe after heavy rains

By AFP

May 18, 2024 03:31 PM


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Heavy rains caused flooding in parts of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands overnight into Saturday, swamping streets and buildings and sparking evacuations.

In the southwestern German state of Saarland, streets were deep underwater and images on social media showed emergency workers carrying local residents to safety in boats.

State capital Saarbruecken was hard hit while German daily Bild reported that a breach in a dyke in the town of Quierschied led to a power station in the area being shut down.

No deaths were reported but at least one person was injured. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is due to visit the area later Saturday.

Saarland state premier Anke Rehlinger described the situation as "very tense" and warned there could be widespread damage.

But the picture had improved early Saturday with a severe weather warning for the area lifted and water levels falling, said Saarbruecken mayor Uwe Conradt.

Hundreds of emergency service workers were still on the ground helping with the clean-up.

In 2021, the German regions of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were hit by catastrophic floods that killed over 180 people.

In Belgium, the province of Liege was hit by severe flooding, with authorities receiving hundreds of requests for assistance and 150 firefighters deployed, governor Herve Jamar said.

The main help provided by emergency services was pumping water out of flooded buildings, he said.

Over the border in the Dutch province of Limburg, two campsites were evacuated early Saturday as they were threatened by rising floodwaters, officials said.

Meanwhile the Moselle area in France's northeast was placed on flood alert as water levels rose in rivers following heavy rains.


AFP


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