German villagers lifted to safety amid mass flooding
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Villagers in Germany have been rescued by helicopter after becoming stranded by rising floodwaters. Widespread flooding has struck regions of Western Germany and parts of Belgium leaving at least 81 dead. The mass flooding, triggered by two days of heavy rainfall, has left 200,000 properties without power while over 1,000 people are reportedly missing. A Sky News video has shown dozens of people in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia have been left stranded on rooftops by rising waters.
Footage from Sky News shows villagers sheltering on top of their homes as rescue teams are lowered by helicopter.
Heavy flood damage can be seen in the video with severe damage to houses and widespread devastation to roads and bridges.
Communities cut-off by the torrent can only be reached for air or by boat.
Climate change has been blamed for the severe weather that has sparked the worse flooding in western Europe in years.
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North Rhine-Westphalia state leader Armin Laschet told the media on Thursday: “We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures… because climate change isn’t confined to one state.”
It comes as further wet weather is forecasted to hit the region today.
Traditional old brick and timber homes in rural areas have proved particularly vulnerable to the fast-flowing flood water.
Images from the effected villages has shown scenes of devastation with entire streets reduced to rubble.
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Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the situation as a “catastrophe.”
“I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster,” she said
Ms Merkel has pledged everything would be done to locate those still missing.
It came as regional news outlet SWR Aktell put the death toll in Germany as high as 80.
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Rhineland-Palatinate state premier Malu Dreyer said: “It’s a catastrophe.
There are dead, missing and many people still in danger.
“All of our emergency services are in action round the clock and risking their own lives.”
“I extend my sympathies to the victims of this flood catastrophe,” she added.
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