Germany: Floods seen in Bavaria following torrential rainfall

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Lashes of rain have hit Germany’s western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, causing devastation and death, including the collapse of several houses. Nine people are known to have died according to German police, while a further 70 are currently missing.

Two firefighters died while trying to help stranded residents on Wednesday.

One had drowned and a second collapsed after a rescue operation, according to the DPA news agency.

Some 70 people are now missing and a further 25 homes are currently at risk of collapse, according to Reuters.

A spokesperson for the Koblenz police told Reuters: “We currently have an unclear number of people on roofs who need to be rescued.

“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed.

“We do not yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing.”

The army has been deployed to some areas to help stranded residents.

Even more heavy rain is expected to lash the region, with heavy rainstorms could be expected in southwestern Germany on Thursday.

The German Weather Service warned in a morning bulletin that continuous rain is likely to fall until Friday evening.

The country’s weather service issued an extreme weather warning for parts of three western states, while Hagen, a city of 180,000, declared a state of emergency after the Volme river burst its banks.

Experts have warned that climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events such as these, but linking any single event to global warming is complicated.

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Where are the floods?

The worst of the flooding has been in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate in the south west of Germany, just west of Frankfurt and south west of Cologne, where around 50 people have been waiting on rooftops to be rescued.

Dozens more are missing in the hilly Eifel region after several homes collapsed, broadcaster SWR reports.

Flooding was triggered when the Ahr river burst its banks south of Bonn.

Some 25 more homes are at risk of collapse in the district of Schuld bei Adenau in the Eiffel region, German broadcasters have said.

In Hagen, crisis teams have declared that water would reach levels seen not more than four times a century in coming hours and warned everyone who lived near the town’s rivers to move to higher ground immediately.

One care home in Hagen had to be evacuated, while across the region firefighters were busy pumping water out of hundreds of cellars.

In one hospital, flood waters caused lifts to fail.

Bernd Mehlig, an environment official from North Rhine-Westphalia, said: “We see this kind of situation only in winter ordinarily.

“Something like this, with this intensity, is completely unusual in summer.“

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