At least 21 dead and dozens missing as floods rip through Germany
Dozens are missing after the Ahr river burst its banks.
At least 21 people have been killed after heavy floodwaters ripped through Germany, with cars being swept and buildings collapsing.
Streams and streets have become raging torrents after the Ahr burst its banks south of Bonn. Authorities in the western county of Euskirchen said eight deaths had been reported, with rescue efforts being hampered by the fact that phone and internet connections were down in parts of the region.
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Police have reported that four people died in the city of Koblenz in Ahrweiler count, with a further 50 trapped on roofs of houses waiting to be rescued.
An emergency has been declared in the region, which has suffered days of heavy rain.
ITV News report that large parts of western and central Germany have experienced unprecedented water levels and damage. Police said an 82-year-old man died after a fall in his flooded basement in the western city of Wuppertal.
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Meanwhile authorities have said a fireman drowned on Wednesday during rescue work in the western town of Altena, and another man is missing in the eastern town of Joehstadt after trying to secure his property from rising waters.
The flooding has affected eastern Belgium as well, where one person is reported to have drowned and another is missing.
Police have warned residents of Liege that the Meuse river could break its banks by early afternoon on Thursday. In the Dutch town of Valkenburg, which is close to the German and Belgian border, a care home and hospice have been evacuated overnight after flooding turned the town's main street into a river.