At least 120 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds injured in European Flood

The past few days have been ghastly for Europe as at least 120 people have been confirmed dead and hundreds of people left injured in the recent flood.

The continent has experienced one of the worst floodings in decades after record rainfall caused rivers to overflow into regions causing havoc across major European towns and cities. At least 100 people have died in Germany, and 20 in Belgium. The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg have also been affected.

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has declared July 20 a national mourning day as the country awaits the final toll. He described the flood as the “most catastrophic flooding” the country has ever witnessed.

Although many factors contribute to flooding, a warming atmosphere (global warming) caused by climate change is the major factor. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a more determined fight against climate change as the rains get heavier. 

Studies have shown that industrial activities have contributed to global warming and the world has so far warmed nearly 1.2C since the advent of the industrial era. Unless world governments make bigger steps to curbing emissions, the temperature levels will keep rising.

Hannah Cloke, Professor of Hydrology at the University of Reading said the deaths and destruction across Europe caused by the flood could have been avoided. She said that early warnings were issued by forecasters, “yet the warnings were not taken seriously enough and preparations were inadequate.”

She added that the record-breaking heatwaves and fire the northern hemisphere is currently experiencing should be a reminder of “just how much more dangerous our weather could become in an ever-warmer world.”

Authorities are uncertain about how many people are missing as phone signal in much of the region is down, making communication quite impossible, according to BBC reports. The death toll rises every day and the magnitude of the disaster keeps getting clearer with each passing day.

 “We have had two or three days of constant rain. Or maybe four, I lost track,” said Schuld resident Klaus Radermacher who has lived there for 60 years. “I saw the Pizza store getting flooded half an hour later the bakery was flooded. There is a camping ground up there, so caravans and campervans came floating past, gas tanks.” He told Reuters that they were utterly “powerless” against the flooding and it was unlike anything he has ever seen.

About 15,000 police, soldiers, and emergency service workers have been deployed to Germany on search and rescue missions. The flooding wrecked a lot of havoc leaving entire villages and towns destroyed. Thousands of people remain unaccounted for as the towns have been rendered desolate by the flooding.

 “Once the river started overflowing and the water came down from the hillside, it was a matter of two minutes before the courtyard was flooded with waist-high water,” a Rheinbach, North Rhine-Westphalia resident told Reuters. “We had to get out through the window and uphill in order to save ourselves.”


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