(Natural News) Rescue crews are working around the clock to try to find survivors of extensive floods that have been causing devastation across Western Europe. The death toll so far exceeds 150 people, and rescuers believe that figure will climb as more bodies are discovered. Thousands of people have been left homeless after their homes were destroyed or deemed at risk, and officials are already concerned about the long-term economic effects that the lost homes and businesses will have so soon after COVID-19-related upheaval.
The flooding was caused by record rainfall on the continent. Germany and Belgium have been the hardest hit, but the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland have also been affected.
In Germany, more than 100 people have died so far, and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that the devastation was shocking. At a news conference, he said: “Whole places are scarred by the disaster. Many people have lost what they have built all their lives.”
The worst-hit areas there are North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate. Floodwaters swept through one assisted living center, killing a dozen disabled people there, and there are still many people unaccounted for.
Rescue efforts have been complicated by difficult conditions as anxious relatives wait for news of their loved ones. A lot of abandoned cars have been found on flooded roads, but fire services report that many of the occupants of these cars must have reached dry land because they are not finding bodies inside.