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18 Jul, 2021 12:00

Rail service disrupted & new evacuations ordered in Europe as death toll from floods tops 180

The death toll in Europe shot past 180 on Sunday, while more parts of the continent were hit by disastrous floods caused by heavy rainfall.

At least 155 people were killed in Germany’s western Rhineland-Palatinate region and neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia. The military was deployed to help rescue workers save people from rooftops and recover vehicles trapped in the floodwater.

Another 27 died in Belgium, where around 11,000 families were left without power in the Liege area. In Wallonia, some 20 villages were left without drinking water and rail infrastructure was damaged.

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, on Saturday, visited the towns of Rochefort and Pepinster, where houses were destroyed by the water. “My heart ached as I met people who have lost their homes, the savings of a lifetime,” she wrote on Twitter.

By Sunday, the disaster hit Bavaria and Saxony, where city streets were flooded and around 130 people were evacuated. “The emergency calls are constantly coming in,” a police spokesperson in Rosenheim told German media.

Railway giant Deutsche Bahn said that rail service between Bad Schandau and Decin, a town in the Czech Republic, has been disrupted. Rail traffic between Dresden and Prague was also affected.

In Switzerland, Lake Zurich broke its banks, and there are fears that lakes Lucerne, Biel and Thun will follow suit.

The water reached Hallein, a town near Salzburg in Austria on Saturday, after the river Kothbach burst its banks.

Videos posted on social media show powerful currents destroying shops and sweeping up cars.

“We will not leave those affected alone and support them in reconstruction,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said.

Also on rt.com Belgium sets day of mourning as death toll from catastrophic floods in Europe rises to 153

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