Round thirteen hundred people remain missing in a German district after the heaviest rainfall in a century, due to which deadly flash floods hit several parts of Western Europe. The officials rapidly start rescue operations at a larger scale to save many precious lives. According to the police officials, fast-moving flood water overwhelmed whole villages and towns in southern and western Germany, resulting in buildings collapse and leaving people stranded.
“At least 55 people have died due to severe flooding in Western Europe, caused by what experts described as the heaviest rainfall in a century.
In Germany, about 1,300 people are “assumed” missing in the district of Ahrweiler, which is in Rhineland-Palatinate state.” 😮😥 https://t.co/zJzW7MEdFG
— JesseJenkins (@JesseJenkins) July 16, 2021
Moreover, the authorities said that at least fifty-five people died because of flooding, but the number will rise as several people are still missing and some are in critical conditions in hospitals. Germany is the country that hit worst, with forty-nine dead, and six people also died in Belgium. The fast-moving torrents of water also hit the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The local government of Rhineland-Palatinate, the worst-hit state of Germany, said that they assumed thirteen hundred people are missing in the district of Ahrweiler. A German weather service spokesperson, Andreas Friedrich, told CNN that they had not seen much rainfall like this in the last hundred years in some areas. Further, he added that they observed more than double the amount of rainfall in some places, which became the reason for flooding and the collapse of building structures.
Fatal Floods hit Germany
Friedrich added that the German regions of Saarland and North of Rhine-Westphalia also affected worst along with Rhineland-Palatinate. Extensive swaths of these states experienced twenty-four-hour rainfall totals between hundred millimeters and one hundred & fifty millimeters (3.9 to 5.9 inches), which represents over a month’s worth of rainfall in the region.
Cologne recorded one hundred and fifty-four millimeters (six inches) of rainfall in only twenty-four hours ending Thursday morning, which is almost double its monthly average for July of eighty-seven millimeters (3.45 inches). Locally heavier torrents resulted in extreme flooding.
According to the European Severe Weather Database, an unbelievable two hundred and seven millimeters (8.1 inches) of rain fell in Reifferscheid in only nine hours. Furthermore, the three westernmost states of Germany are the worst affected by the flooding.
Around Thirty Dead in One German State
A spokesperson for the state government told CNN that in North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state of Germany, thirty people were found dead. Further, he said that at least fifty people were also injured in the floods, and the missing number is not clear. A spokesperson for the police in Koblenz told CNN that at least nineteen people killed in Rhineland-Palatinate due to flood, and officials called over one thousand police and emergency workers.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who is on her swansong visit to the United States, said that the deadly floods hit many parts of Germany. Ahead of her meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden, Merkel said at a press conference that her thoughts are always with the people of her homeland while she is in Washington. The focus of the administration is on the rescue operations and immediate response to those affected by the floods.
Steffen Seibert, the spokesperson of Merkel, offered his condolences for the families of the dead and missing. Besides, he thanked and praised the determined rescue workers and their services and said that he shocked by the catastrophe in several flood-hit parts of the country.
Kanzlerin #Merkel: „Ich bin erschüttert über die Katastrophe, die so viele Menschen in den #Hochwassergebieten durchleiden müssen. Mein Mitgefühl gilt den Angehörigen der Toten und Vermissten. Den vielen unermüdlichen Helfern und Einsatzkräften danke ich von Herzen.“
— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) July 15, 2021
Global Warming comes Warmer air holding more water vapors
According to DWD, the German national weather service, the extreme rainfall resulted from a slow-moving part of low pressure, which caused a conveyer belt of moist and warm air to duel powerful thunderstorms and bring long-lasting and heavy rainfall. Additionally, the heavy rainfall rates are becoming usual in the warming climate, as warmer air has the capacity to hold more water vapor, which results in heavy rain.
According to a professor of hydrology at the University of Reading, Hannah Cloke, these types of sudden and high-energy gushes of rain are exactly what the experts expect in the swiftly heating climate. Cloke adds that other regions of the northern hemisphere are presently experiencing record-breaking heatwaves, and wildfires should serve as an alarm of just how much the Earth weather becomes more dangerous in the coming future.
Netherlands’ city Maastricht requested the resident of the Randwyck and Heugem districts to leave their homes as early as possible because of rising water in the river Meuse. Moreover, the water in the Meuse is intensifying instantly, and the officials expect it to cross the quays at Randwyck/Heugem around 03:00 am. It means the water will come out in the streets and homes.