Death toll climbs past 110 in European floods

Death toll climbs past 110 in European floods
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The death toll in Germany and Belgium has climbed past 110 after heavy rainfall produced extreme flooding that caused buildings to collapse and trapped people inside their homes.

There are at least 63 people who died in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate and at least 43 people who died in North Rhine-Westphalia, officials say, according to The Associated Press. Officials warn that the number could climb higher.

There are 1,300 people who are still considered missing, but authorities said the high number could be from duplicate names and increased difficulty to reach people due to internet connectivity being unavailable in some parts of the country because of the storm. 

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Parts of Belgium were also hit during the storm, with at least 12 people dead and five still missing, according to the AP.

Frank Rock, the head of the German county administration, said they have been working to get people who are trapped in their homes out and know of at least 15 “who still need to be rescued.”

“My thoughts are with the families of the victims of the devastating floods in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and those who have lost their homes,” EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Thursday. “The EU is ready to help.”

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the country will be supporting citizens and communities affected by the flooding and destruction he is “stunned” by.

“In the hour of need, our country stands together,” Steinmeier said Friday. “It’s important that we show solidarity for those from whom the flood has taken everything.”