Heavy rains cause flooding in parts of Europe; alert country

The storms caused heavy flooding in parts of western and central Europe overnight, and a man swept away by a raging stream in eastern Germany was still missing on Wednesday.

Firefighters resumed their search for the man in the town of Joehstadt, Saxony, on Wednesday morning. German news agency dpa reported that he tried to protect his property from rising waters when he went missing.

Firefighters in the town of Hagen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia rescued several drivers whose vehicles got stuck in a flooded underpass. Videos on social media showed streets in the western German city filled with knee-deep water and others buried by landslides.

A fallen tree trapped a woman in the German town of Mettmann, and responders had to hold her head high to prevent her from drowning in the rising waters until firefighters could free her. Residents of the nearby town of Erkrath have been warned not to shower or use their washing machines as the rain overloaded the local sewage system.

Bavaria’s Hof County issued a disaster alert on Tuesday evening as basements filled with water, trees were uprooted and some areas lost electricity overnight. German weather service DWD said the region recorded 80 liters (over 21 gallons) of rain per square meter in the span of 12 hours.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert called the images terrible in the areas hardest hit by the floods.

Even though not all local events, floods or incidents are linked to climate change, many scientists tell us that the frequency, intensity and regularity with which this occurs is a consequence of climate change, a said Seibert.

DWD meteorologists predicted further extreme storms in western and central Germany through Thursday, with maximum precipitation of up to 200 liters per square meter.

In the neighboring Czech Republic, firefighters have received 800 calls regarding incidents ranging from falling trees to flooded basements. A highway connecting the capital, Prague, in the east of the country partly flooded at night. Thousands of homes remained without electricity on Wednesday.

Mud-flooded houses in some towns in eastern Belgium as sustained rains hit the hills of the Ardennes hard. The tourist center of Spa, near the famous Formula 1 circuit, could not bear the water that flowed from the surrounding hills which turned the streets into rivers.

Cars piled on top of each other and basements were flooded, but no serious injuries were reported.

The Belgian meteorological institute issued a red alert on Wednesday for the area around Liège, some 100 km (60 miles) east of Brussels, which is expected to receive more rain in a day than the region would normally receive. in an entire summer month. The rain is expected to last until Friday.

Dutch authorities have warned that heavy rains in the southern province of Limburg could turn streams into dangerously fast torrents and urged the public to stay away from them. Boat owners have been advised to stay away from the Meuse due to the strong currents and debris carried downstream.

Dutch media showed people being rescued on Tuesday from a historic windmill in the Netherlands partially submerged by floodwaters estimated to be 1.5 meters (5 feet) high.

Swollen rivers were expected to overflow into their floodplains later in the week, which is unusual in the summer. This happens more often in the spring when rivers such as the Rhine and Meuse rise due to melting snow in European hills and mountains.

In Switzerland, the authorities have raised the flood warning for Lake Lucerne to the highest level and banned all navigation.

The French national meteorological service issued warnings for five regions in the northeast of the country on Wednesday. region. Much of France has experienced an unusually cool and humid summer so far.

Meanwhile, parts of southeastern Europe experienced a heat wave. Temperatures in Albania and neighboring Kosovo reached 35-37 degrees Celsius (95-99 F) on Wednesday.

No deaths have been reported from the heat wave so far. Authorities are urging the public, especially children and the elderly, to stay at home during the day.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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