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Floods in Europe leaves at least 120 dead, hundreds more reported missing

The heavy rain and flooding have damaged roads and cellphone service, creating search-and-rescue challenges.

Updated: July 16, 2021 - 11:35am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Recent major flooding in western Germany and Belgium have left at least 120 dead, officials said Friday.

Search and rescue is ongoing for hundreds still missing. 

Sixty people have died in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, including 12 residents of an assisted living facility for people with disabilities in the town of Sinzig, authorities said.

The residents died as a result of a nearby river having unexpectedly flooded their building.

The nearby German state of North Rhine-Westphalia reports 43 dead.

Germany reports 1,300 people remain missing, though the high number likely includes duplicate reports, officials said. German officials also said flood-related damage to roads and cell-phone equipment has created challenges in confirming missing persons reports.

"In the hour of need, our country stands together," German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Friday. "It’s important that we show solidarity for those from whom the flood has taken everything."

Belgium reports 18 dead and 19 missing. Water levels on the Meuse river between the Netherlands and Belgium is at a critical level, the Associated Press reports. 

Other European countries including Switzerland and the Netherlands are also being hit by heavy rainfall and flooding.

Italy has reportedly sent firefighters and civil protection officials to help the with search and rescue in Belgium.

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