- Photo caption: An aerial view after flooding at Erftstadt-Blessem, Germany, Friday, July 16.
Officials in western Germany say heavy rains and severe flooding have killed at least 100 people, while more than a thousand people are missing.
German weather service spokesman Andreas Friedrich told CNN, “In some areas, we have not seen this much rainfall in 100 years.”
German broadcaster Deutsche Welle said most of the fatalities were in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, while 1,300 people are missing in the Ahrweiler region, southwest of Bonn, where the Ahr River, which flows into the Rhine, burst its banks.
Rescue operations were hampered by the fact that phone and internet connections were down in part of the region. Officials say the flooding also disrupted rail lines and shipping on the Rhine River.
Aerial video of the area shows houses swept away, as well as roads and bridges. In Schuld, in southern Ahrweiler county, police say several houses have collapsed. Officials say other structures are also in danger of collapsing.
Emergency workers and soldiers have been deployed to rescue people, some of them stranded on rooftops.
Heavy flooding also has been reported in Belgium, Luxembourg, France, and the Netherlands.