37 dead and six missing in floods in Belgium

The country continues to count its deaths, a week after floods that hit the east of the country

Belgium deplores this Thursday the death of 37 people following the terrible floods which hit the east of the country on July 14 and 15. A final report communicated by the national crisis center which also reports the disappearance of six people, untraceable or unreachable.

The previous report Wednesday evening reported 32 dead and 18 missing. This brings the total casualties in Europe to 214, counting the 177 dead in Germany, almost all in the west of the country.

Reconstruction will take years

Several days of heavy rains caused very strong floods at the origin of these floods of unprecedented magnitude in both Germany and Belgium. In Belgium, the valley of the Vesdre in the hinterland of Liège (east) was particularly affected when this tributary of the Meuse suddenly rose from its bed, causing the water level to rise by several meters in places. 17>

Hundreds of houses are uninhabitable, particularly in the communes of Trooz, Pepinster and Verviers. In this city of 55,000 inhabitants, more than 10,000 people will have to be relocated, according to the local police chief quoted by the Belga agency. Tuesday, a day of national mourning in Belgium, the Walloon region (south and east French-speaking) announced the establishment of a fund aimed at raising up to 2 billion euros for reconstruction, which will take years.

Global warming blamed

Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria a few days later were also affected by floods even though no casualties were recorded in these countries . European leaders have blamed global warming to explain this episode of intense rains for several days.

On Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her call to “accelerate” the fight against global warming, deploring “insufficient progress” to achieve the set objectives of limiting the rise in temperatures.