More than 125 people have died in Germany and Belgium amid a rare flood event that has devastated the region, per AP.
The latest: At least 63 people have died in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, including 12 residents at an assisted living facility for people with disabilities.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, state officials put the death toll at 43, but warned that figure could rise.Authorities are trying to account for hundreds of people who have been listed as missing. The number may be inaccurate due to duplication of data and difficulties reaching people as roads remain disrupted and phone connections are down, per AP.Thousands of people remain homeless after their houses were destroyed by the flooding or deemed at-risk by authorities.The German army has deployed more than 850 troops to help with rescue efforts, per AP.
What they’re saying: “Whole places are scarred by the disaster,” German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a news conference Friday, per the Washington Post. “Many people have lost what they have built all their lives.”
During a visit with President Biden on Thursday Chancellor Angela Merkel said “the full extent of this tragedy will only be seen in the coming days.”
The big picture: Flash floods this week followed days of heavy rainfall, which caused rivers and reservoirs to burst through their banks.
The rainfall amounts had around a 1% chance of occurring in an individual year, making it a 100-year rainstorm.
Between the lines: Scientists are analyzing the rainfall for more precise calculations and to determine the role that global warming played in this disaster, but studies have shown climate change increases the odds of and severity of extreme precipitation events.