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Flooding Recedes in Europe, but Death Toll Rises and Questions Mount

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The death toll from the floods in Europe is now at least 23, with more than 30 people missing. This follows a week of flooding across the continent, and questions are mounting about what caused such an intense storm.

The where is the flooding in germany is a question that has been asked many times over the past few days. Many people are asking where the flooding has gone, and what areas have been affected.

Here’s what you should be aware of:

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Flooding in Europe is shown via satellite images.

Several cities in different nations have been destroyed. We looked through the clouds to the devastation below using radar equipment.

[sirens] “Oh my God!” exclaims the speaker. The flooding in Western Europe is a disaster on a historic scale. Although satellite pictures are typically one of the greatest ways to understand the scope of natural catastrophes, when seen from above, all we saw were clouds, clouds, and more clouds. As a result, we enlisted the help of ICEYE, a business headquartered in Finland. Their radar imaging equipment can look through clouds and record the size and type of floods on the ground in real time. This is Erftstadt in Germany, which was one of the places worst hit by the floods. The floodwaters appear as dark masses on this radar picture. A field on the outside of the neighborhood is a significant feature. It is flooded on July 15th. A quarry is located nearby. The walls of the quarry have fallen, according to a second picture shot 24 hours later. The avalanche that resulted devoured homes, vehicles, and roadways. This picture depicts the city of Maastricht in the Netherlands, which is just over the border. Flooding has occurred in the town center and to the north of the city, near the airport. The scene on the ground was taken by a drone. Government buildings may be found here. This was formerly a port and is now an RV park. With several European towns still cut off by floods, radar technology may aid in gauging the water’s effect and guiding rescue operations in distant regions. Hundreds of people are still missing, and the death toll is likely to increase as rescue teams work their way through the rubble.

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Several cities in different nations have been destroyed. We looked through the clouds to the devastation below using radar equipment. CreditCredit… Getty Images/Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse/Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse/Christof Stache/Agence France-Presse/Christof Stache

The floods from one of Germany’s greatest natural catastrophes in recent memory receded on Saturday, but the massive damage and death toll, which is yet unknown, are forcing the country to face questions of lifestyle and government only two months before crucial national elections.

How could the country’s flood control systems have been so rapidly overwhelmed by the severe rains, for example? And, with the tragedy occurring only days after the European Union announced an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions, how would those vying to replace Angela Merkel react?

The floods are expected to play a major role for voters when they go to the polls on September 26 to replace Ms. Merkel, who has governed the nation for 16 years, according to experts.

On Saturday, the death toll in Germany reached at least 143, while the toll in Belgium was at 27, according to the country’s national crisis center. The death toll increased dramatically in Germany’s Ahrweiler region in Rhineland-Palatinate State, where authorities reported more than 90 deaths. Authorities were concerned that the number might rise further.

Nature’s turmoil was expected to resonate for months, if not years, in Germany, Europe’s biggest economy and a nation that prides itself on its sense of stability.

Residents and rescue personnel in flood-affected regions faced the more urgent and difficult job of removing debris, unclogging roads, and rescuing some of the houses that had survived the downpour on Saturday.

Hundreds of individuals are still missing, although authorities have struggled to provide exact figures.

In some parts of Germany, electricity and telephone services are still unavailable, and some roads are still impassable. It’s possible that the high number of people still missing is due to a lack of access. Some of those who have not been found may simply be on vacation or on a work assignment. Police officials in Belgium began knocking on homes to check the location of people.

Officials have said that they anticipate to discover more victims.

Extreme downpours, such as those seen in Germany, are one of the most obvious indications that the climate is changing as a consequence of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. According to studies, a warmer atmosphere may retain more moisture, resulting in more rain.

According to meteorologists and German authorities, floods of this magnitude have not occurred in 500 or even 1,000 years.

Along with North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate was one of the two hardest-hit German states in the west. The Rhine River runs through both areas, and the rain came down so hard that it flooded even tiny streams and tributaries that aren’t usually considered flood hazards.

 

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Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s president, visited Erftstadt, southwest of Cologne, on Saturday, where water had damaged houses. Ms. Merkel intended to go to Schuld, Rhineland-Palatinate, on Sunday, despite the fact that all 700 inhabitants of the town survived.

Floods have wreaked damage from Switzerland to the Netherlands, resulting in images of destruction throughout Western Europe. Germany, on the other hand, was the worst affected.

A European meteorological service had issued an exceptional flood warning days before raging floods tore across western Germany, as forecasts indicated storms would send rivers rising to heights not seen in hundreds of years.

The cautions, on the other hand, were ineffective.

Despite the fact that Germany’s flood warning system, which consists of a network of sensors that monitor river levels, worked as expected, state and municipal authorities claimed the quantity of rain was unprecedented, forcing even minor streams and rivers to overflow their banks.

Many regions were taken off guard, according to survivors and authorities, as usually calm brooks and streams transformed into rivers that washed away vehicles, homes, and bridges. Throughout order to assist with the search and rescue, around 15,000 police officers, soldiers, and emergency service personnel have been dispatched in Germany.

Dr. Linda Speight, a hydrometeorologist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom who studies how flooding happens, blamed the huge loss of life on inadequate communication about the high danger presented by the floods. “This incident should not have resulted in so many deaths,” she added.

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Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Washington this week. Credit… The New York Times/David Mills

When confronted with floods as catastrophic as those in Germany, a national leader would normally stop what she was doing and hurry to the disaster region.

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel finished an official visit to Washington on Friday, and she was not scheduled to visit the flood zone until Sunday, after the majority of other German political figures had left. (It was also her 67th birthday on Saturday.)

“My heart goes out to all those who, in this tragedy, lost their loved ones or who are still worried about the fate of those who are still missing,” Ms. Merkel said at an appearance with President Biden on Thursday in Washington.

Ms. Merkel also attended a crisis meeting with officials of the Rhineland Palatinate state, which is home to many of the hardest-hit towns, only hours after arriving in Germany on Friday morning. She also talked with Armin Laschet, the leader of North Rhine-Westphalia, which was badly devastated and lost many people.

Mr. Laschet, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party like Ms. Merkel, is the party’s choice to replace her following the country’s September elections.

Ms. Merkel has received little criticism for spending many days to see the damage. She’s never been one for political drama, and she won’t have to worry about opinion surveys after the elections since she’ll be out of politics.

Germans appeared to recognize the significance of her journey to Washington, which was likely to be her last as chancellor, and her talks with Vice President Biden.

After four difficult years dealing with President Donald J. Trump, who viewed Germany as a competitor and threatened to slap punishing tariffs on German vehicles, Germany is eager to restore its relationship with the United States, a key friend and trade partner. Ms. Merkel appeared almost ecstatic to be dealing with a new government during a press conference with Mr. Biden on Thursday.

Mr. Biden and her are “not just partners and allies, but also very good friends,” she added.

The two presidents struck an agreement to take “urgent action to solve the climate catastrophe,” addressing an underlying cause of Western Europe’s worst floods in decades.

While standing beside Mr. Biden, Ms. Merkel added, “There is a significant rise in such extraordinary weather events, and we must deal with this.”

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Oliver Henry, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service firefighter, after assisting in the extinguishment of a minor fire in Mattawa, Wash., last month. Credit… The New York Times’ Grant Hindsley

Heat has claimed unprecedented numbers of lives in the Pacific Northwest and Canada, and a worsening drought is endangering water supplies, all of which is laying the scene for another potentially disastrous fire season in California and surrounding states.

This weekend, a fourth big heat wave is expected to burn portions of the area once again. It comes only two weeks after a series of record-breaking high temperatures in the United States and Canada killed hundreds of people, which experts claimed would be practically unthinkable without climate change.

Death Valley reached a high of 130 degrees a week ago, matching a measurement from last year that may be the hottest temperature consistently recorded on the planet. Also this past weekend, Las Vegas matched its record high temperature of 117 degrees, while Grand Junction, Colo., surpassed its previous high of 107 degrees.

According to the National Meteorological Service, at least 67 weather stations from Washington to New Mexico have recorded their highest temperatures ever this summer. Those documents were at least 75 years old.

The heat aided in the fast spread of the Bootleg Fire, a wildfire in southern Oregon that has burnt over 240,000 acres — about a third the size of Rhode Island, America’s smallest state. The fire, which is one of hundreds raging throughout the West, has burned nearly two dozen houses and is threatening 1,900 more, prompting a wave of evacuations.

The fire also burned along a power line corridor that contributes significantly to California’s electrical system, prompting authorities to issue warnings this week urging people to save energy by turning up their thermostats and shutting off appliances, or face rolling blackouts.

Monsoon rains poured on the Southwest, including New Mexico and Arizona, this week, providing some respite from the oppressive heat. However, the consequence was yet another disaster: flash flooding, which flooded several Arizona city streets and sent a torrent of water down a section of the Grand Canyon, washing away a camp where about 30 people on a rafting trip were spending the night, killing one person.

Heat waves are getting hotter and more common as the Earth heats due to climate change. “And as terrible as it seems today,” Jonathan Overpeck, a climate scientist at the University of Michigan, told The New York Times recently, “this is about as good as it gets if we don’t bring global warming under control.”

The Belgium flood is a natural disaster that has had a devastating effect on the country of Belgium. As of August 23rd, the death toll has risen to 17 and over 100 people are still missing. Reference: belgium flood.

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