NewsHeavy rains wreak havoc in western Germany, state of emergency declared

Heavy rains wreak havoc in western Germany, state of emergency declared

Kleinblittersdorf after the downpour
Kleinblittersdorf after the downpour
Images source: © East News | IRIS MARIA MAURER

11:01 AM EDT, May 18, 2024

Heavy rains in western Germany have caused significant disruptions. Water has flooded the streets of many cities, and firefighters have had to intervene several thousand times. In Saarland, a state of emergency due to a natural disaster has been declared.

A dangerous situation has arisen in western Germany. The heavy rains have flooded streets and caused landslides in some areas. In Saarland, nearly 280 gallons of water per square yard fell in less than a day.

In this region alone, firefighters and police intervened more than 3,000 times. Some places had to be evacuated, including guests from a hotel in Neunkirchen and residents of a nursing home in Marpingen.

A state of emergency due to a natural disaster has been declared in Saarbrücken. For now, there is no information about casualties from the heavy rains.

The most difficult situation in 30 years

Due to the floods, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz suspended his meeting with Saarland residents about the European Parliament campaign. Instead, he met with local authorities to assess the situation.

The chancellor stated in Kleinblittersdorf that the immediate focus should be emergency aid. After the direct crisis and threat have subsided, the matter of how to help those in need will be a joint decision. "We have a good practice of solidarity," said Scholz, quoted by the DPA agency.

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time we are dealing with a serious natural disaster, so of course, we will look into what needs to be done and what is necessary," Scholz emphasized. "Everyone can be assured that it will be done in the best possible way," he added.

Saarland Premier Anke Rehlinger referred to it as the most difficult situation since the flood in Saarland over 30 years ago, known as the 'flood of the century.'

The rains and floods also affected other countries in the region, including Belgium and the Netherlands. In northeastern France, a flood alert was issued due to rising river levels.

Related content