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Western Germany storms leave several dead, many missing

At least nine people died following severe flooding in Rhineland-Palatinate state where several houses collapsed while many people are reported missing.

A man helps a women walk along a flooded street in Spa, as bad weather conditions floods in the city centre on July 14, 2021. (AFP Archive)

Heavy rains and floods have lashed western Germany killing nine people and leaving more than 70 missing.

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“A lot of the people” reported missing were on the roofs of houses that were swept away by floods in the municipality of Schuld, a police spokesman in the city of Koblenz said on Thursday.

Schuld is in a region of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia worst hit by the storms which have caused rivers to burst their banks.

The updated death toll and number of people missing was reported by the Bild daily who cited police.

“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed. We don’t yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing,” the police spokesperson said.

Two firefighters died in the Sauerland region, northeast of Bonn, on Wednesday, police said. The news agency DPA said one had drowned and a second had collapsed after a rescue operation.

Rail and road transport were disrupted, and shipping on the Rhine, an important trade artery, was suspended.

More heavy rain was due in southwestern Germany, on the upper reaches of the German Rhine, on Thursday and Friday, the German Weather Service said.

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