Update (2003ET): The death toll rose to more than 60 people, and dozens were unaccounted for as severe floods ripped through western Germany, according to AP News.
During a visit to Washington, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster." She said her thoughts were with the families who lost loved ones.
Merkel also said the worse is yet to come as water levels recede and the true extent of the tragedy unfolds in the coming days.
Unbelievable footage from earlier today.
NEW 🚨 About 60 dead, dozens missing, thousands out of power after devastating floods in Germany— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) July 15, 2021
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What will be blamed on climate change and pressure lawmakers in the EU to enforce more carbon-reducing measures is a terrible flooding incident in western Europe.
BBC News reports at least 33 people have died, and more than 70 are unaccounted for after torrential rains sparked flash floods in western states of Germany, including Rhineland-Palatinate and North-Rhine Westphalia.
"It's a disaster! There are dead, missing and many who are still in danger," said Malu Dreyer, premier of the Rhineland-Palatinate. "All emergency services are on duty around the clock and risk their own lives," she added.
Reuters confirms at least 70 people were missing across the region of Ahrweiler.
Video footage from western Germany is shocking. Entire towns, vehicles, and businesses have been submerged.
Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, a town in the German Bundesland of Rhineland-Palatinate, is completely underwater.
Drone footage shows the extent of the damage in western Germany.
Drone footage shows the extent of damage in western Germany after heavy rain triggered severe floods.— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 15, 2021
Dozens of people are still missing.
Latest on this story here: https://t.co/tDlDebAN8h pic.twitter.com/dyW5i5TKne
Before And After
More insane footage.
🔴At least 19 people have now died after freak storms triggered flash floods which have swept away homes and devastated parts of western Germany and Belgium pic.twitter.com/p0LFJvlB7w— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) July 15, 2021
"There are people dead, there are people missing, there are many who are still in danger," the governor of Rhineland-Palatinate state, Malu Dreyer, told the regional parliament. "We have never seen such a disaster. It's really devastating."
During German Chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to Washington on Thursday, she told reporters the news of the flooding is absolutely horrible. "My sympathy goes to the relatives and of the dead and missing," she said.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has pledged full support to help those affected by this freak weather incident.
"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," she tweeted. "The EU is ready to help."
No official figures have been released on the estimated damage, with floodwaters only starting to recede. It could take days, if not weeks, to survey the destruction.
What caused the wild weather was a low-pressure system that stalled out and dumped unprecedented amounts of rain in the region, overflowing streams and rivers.
Rainfall is expected to subside late Thursday, though the threat of localized storms and water levels on the Rhine could continue to rise.
Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted that "we're at the very beginning of a climate and ecological emergency," adding that volatile weather shouldn't be "the new normal."