“Houses were largely swept away by the water and some collapsed. Several people are missing,” according to a tweet from the Cologne local authority about the landslide.
“There are fatalities,” confirmed a spokeswoman for the district government of Cologne to German newspaper Welt on Friday. No information could be given yet on the exact number of people who have died.
The local authority said in the tweet that emergency calls were coming from houses, but “rescue is not possible in many cases”.
“Our disaster control team is on the scene,” they said.
— I.E.N. (@BreakingIEN) July 16, 2021
German emergency responders were on Friday still searching for hundreds of missing people after the worst floods in living memory killed dozens of people in the country’s western regions.
Aerial photographs distributed by the district government and photos taken by DPA photographers show landslides of enormous proportions in Erfstadt-Blessem, which is around 50 minutes from Cologne. Houses have been swept away while cars are lying in huge holes in the ground.
After the extremely heavy rain on Wednesday resulting in flash floods, there were evacuations in several localities.
“We are currently experiencing a crisis, the dimensions of which we are not yet able to assess today,” district administrator Frank Rock (CDU) had said on Thursday.