Germany floods: before and after satellite images show the devastation it caused | world News
More than 190 people died when torrential rains caused severe flooding in parts of western Europe last week, with Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state among the worst affected.
More than 160 people have been killed in Germany alone, with one of the worst affected areas in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, which shares borders with Belgium and Luxembourg.
Satellite images from the country show devastated buildings and fields, and wildly overgrown rivers.
The region of Arweiler in the Rhineland-Palatinate, south of Cologne, was worst affected, with at least 117 people killed.
Schuld, a village on a narrow bend of the Ahr River, was particularly hard hit by rapidly rising flood waters on the night of July 14, but fortunately no one was killed or injured.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Schuld on Sunday as she was left strewn with debris and mud.
She said it was a “surreal, ghostly situation” and that the German language “barely contains words for the devastation.”
Satellite images show that fields and buildings near the river bank have been destroyed and the small river has widened dramatically.
The nearby historic town of Antwerp has smashed its bridges, roads dammed by floods and homes destroyed.
Germany is now embarking on a massive rebuilding plan as Ms Merkel said authorities will “put the world right again in this beautiful region, step by step” and her government will approve an immediate and medium-term financial aid program on Wednesday.
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer dismissed criticism on Monday that the government failed to warn people of floods, saying that flood warnings are up to local authorities because you “need local knowledge”.