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Germany floods: Villages evacuated over fears dam will break as landslide causes more deaths
16 July 2021, 15:36 | Updated: 16 July 2021, 15:38
Several villages have been evacuated in Germany amid fears a dam could break during the devastating floods.
Authorities told people living in that part of Rhine-Sieg county, south of Cologne, to leave because they are below the Steinbach reservoir, Associated Press reports.
At least 110 people have died in the floods across Germany and Belgium, with the Netherlands and Luxembourg also affected.
More than 1,000 people are feared to be missing.
Meanwhile, several people died in a landslide in North Rhine Westphalia state, authorities said on Friday.
The state has recorded a death toll of 43, while 60 people have been reported dead in Rhineland-Palatinate.
++ Eilmeldung ++ In #Erftstadt-Blessem sind Häuser massiv unterspült worden und einige eingestürzt. Es werden etliche Personen vermisst. Aus den Häusern kommen Notrufe, aber eine Rettung ist vielfach nicht möglich. Unser Katastrophenschutz ist vor Ort. Fotos: Rhein-Erft-Kreis pic.twitter.com/Waaq3tMciM— BezirksregierungKöln (@BezRegKoeln) July 16, 2021
The Local's German news site said Cologne's local authority reported that "houses were largely swept away by the water and some collapsed".
"Several people are missing," it added.
The exact number of dead was not confirmed but the authority said "rescue is not possible in many cases" and a disaster control team was at the scene, The Local reported.
Thousands are thought to have left their homes since the downpour began on Wednesday, and LBC's Europe Correspondent Lucy Hough said rescue efforts "are far from over" ahead of the bad weather forecast on Friday and through the weekend.
Speaking in Washington, German chancellor Angela Merkel said: "My thoughts at this time are with those back home, from here I want to send them a sign of condolence and solidarity. I hope my messages reach my European colleagues, who can show solidarity with Germany and offer their help," she told reporters.
"Hundreds of thousands of people all of a sudden were faced with catastrophe, their houses were literally death traps, small rivers turned into flooded, devastating rivers.
"My empathy and my heart goes out to all of those who in this catastrophe lost their loved ones, or who are still worrying about the fate of people still missing and I include Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands who have also suffered from flooding."