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At least 58 people have died and many more are missing as western Germany deals with the effects of massive flooding. The flooding has heavily impacted transport in the region, which lies near the borders to Belgium, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands. Weather forecasters say more rain is expected in the coming days.
A residential area in the city of Wangen im Allgäu in the German state of Baden-Württemberg suffered severe flooding late on Thursday evening.
The banks of a nearby river had burst, causing the district to flood.
According to the emergency services, the water in the residential area had infiltrated into several cellars as well as garages.
A dam in the heavily hit Eifel district of Germany has overflown, prompting fears of further flooding in the coming hours, local authorities said.
The 77.2-meter-high (253 feet) Rur Dam has overflown, meaning there could be worse flooding further along the Rur river (separate from the more-northern Ruhr River).
Villages near the dam have already been evacuated, but the warning has now been extended along the river to towns including Heimbach, Nideggen, Düren, Jülich, Linnich, Kreuzau, Hürtgenwald and Niederzier. The power company has warned it may switch off the power as a precaution.
The dam was built in the 1930s and extended in the late 1950s.
Merkel and Biden extend condolences
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Joe Biden addressed the disaster as they held a joint press conference in the White House.
Merkel said “it is a day that is characterized by fear, by despair and suffering” as “small rivers turned into flooded, devastating torrents.”
“I extend my empathy and my heart goes out to to people who lost loved ones,” Merkel said. “I include Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.”
“I fear the full extent of this tragedy will only be seen in the coming days,” she said.
She thanked rescuers for their tireless efforts.
Biden offered his condolences over the deadly floods. “Our hearts go out to the families who’ve lost loved ones,” he said.FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA