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Death toll tops 160 in flood-hit Europe

Several power plants operated by German electricity producer RWE have been hit by severe floods worth millions, according to the company, the news agency further reported…reports Asian Lite News.

The death toll in devastating flooding in western Germany and Belgium rose to over 160 on Saturday after burst rivers and flash floods this week collapsed houses and ripped up roads and power lines.
Around 143 people died in the flooding in Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century. That included about 98 in the Ahrweiler district south of Cologne, The Straits Times reported quoting police.
Hundreds of people were still missing or unreachable as several areas were inaccessible due to high water levels while communication in some places was still down.

FENA reported that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also visited Erfstadt, the city most affected by the floods in North Rhine-Westphalia.
Several power plants operated by German electricity producer RWE have been hit by severe floods worth millions, according to the company, the news agency further reported.
The downpour was brought to Germany by the Bernd cyclone on Monday. Emergency services, as well as the forces of the Bundeswehr, are involved in the rescue work.
CNN reported that due to the havoc, at least 165,000 people are currently without power in Rhineland-Palatinate and neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia, as per the authorities.
In Netherlands, 10,700 people have been evacuated in Venlo in the north of the southern Dutch province of Limburg on Friday, as a precaution due to the high water level and the fear of flooding.

The Dutch government has formally assessed the flood in Limburg as a disaster, allowing victims to obtain clarity about whether their damage will be reimbursed by the government if their insurance does not cover it.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander visited the city and called the situation in Limburg “heartbreaking.”

In Switzerland, maximum flood warnings have been issued in central parts of the country due to persistent rainfall.

As of Friday, Lake Lucerne, Lake Thun and Lake Biel have remained at the highest flood warning level (5) after continued and intense rainfall throughout the week.

The Swissinfo website reported that the major cities such as Basel and Bern are also facing high flood risks, with the River Aare reaching a flow rate of 540 cubic meters per second, nearing the 600 level recorded in the major floods of 2005.

France’s meteorological service warned on Friday that the continuous rainfall is soaking the soil, putting France at risk of flooding.

Currently, 13 provinces in northern and eastern France have been placed on orange alert for floods.

The European Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated to tackle the heavy floods.
Meanwhile, moved by the news of flooding in Europe, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has written to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo to express his concern.

“I am saddened to see reports of the unprecedented flooding that has wreaked havoc across western Europe, particularly affecting Belgium and Germany,” he wrote.

“The loss of life, damage to property, and hardship that thousands of people are facing is most upsetting.

“I understand that every effort is being made to help those affected. I would like to express my condolences to the bereaved and my deep sympathy for those left devastated by this catastrophe. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this calamity.” (ANI/IANS)

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