Germany sees 33 dead due to severe floods

At least 33 people have died and many more are missing following severe floods in western Germany, police say.

The worst of the flooding has been in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, where buildings and cars have been washed away.

At least four people have died in neighbouring Belgium, while the Netherlands has also been badly hit.

It follows record rainfall in parts of western Europe that have caused major rivers to burst their banks.

Malu Dreyer, chief of the Rhineland-Palatinate state, described the flooding as a “catastrophe”.

“There are dead, missing and many people still in danger,” she said. “All of our emergency services are in action round the clock and risking their own lives.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is in the US ahead of a meeting with President Joe Biden, said she was “shocked by the disaster”.

At least 19 people died in the Ahrweiler district of Rhineland-Palatinate, after the Ahr river, which flows into the Rhine, burst its banks.

Police helicopters and hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to some areas to help stranded residents. Earlier, police said dozens of people were waiting on rooftops to be rescued.

Schools have been closed around the west of the country, while transport links have been severely disrupted.

A man has been fined more than £350 for refusing to clean up after his dogs in #Rhondda Cynon Taf. The man, from #Pontypridd, had taken his three dogs for a walk on a restricted area at Taff Vale Park, #Treforest, where one of the dogs was witnessed fouling and the man failed to pick it up. He refused to engage with the council’s enforcement officers, and the matter was referred to Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court, where he was found guilty in his absence and ordered to pay a total of £374.

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