Floodwaters in western Europe are still rising, with a death toll of more than 120 people
On Friday, German officials expected additional deaths as "catastrophic" floods surged across western areas, destroying streets and homes and killing over 100 people while leaving hundreds more missing and homeless. Swollen rivers ripped through towns and villages in the western states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, as well as sections of Belgium and the Netherlands, cutting off communications and destroying entire settlements.
103 people have died in Germany alone as a result of days of heavy rain, the country's highest number of deaths in a natural catastrophe in nearly 60 years. They included 12 residents of a home for disabled people who were woken up in the middle of the night by flooding. The floods' damage, which meteorologists blame to a climate-change-driven shift in the jet stream that has brought onshore water that would otherwise have stayed at sea, could shake up an election that has heard little talk of climate change thus far.
The extent and intensity of the flooding, she added, was a clear evidence of climate change and highlighted the urgent need to act, only days after the European Commission presented plans to make Europe the "first climate-neutral continent."