German floods: Several feared dead after landslide south of Cologne

German floods: Several feared dead after landslide south of Cologne
A photo shared by the Cologne district government on Twitter on Friday shows the disaster situation in Erftstadt-Blessem. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Rhein-Erft-Kreis | Rhein-Erft-Kreis
Several people have died in a landslide in Erftstadt-Blessem in Germany's North Rhine Westphalia state, local officials said on Friday, after dozens were killed by flooding in the country in recent days. 

“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. 

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.

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Massive landslides

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.

An aerial photograph shows the catastrophic situation in Erftstadt-Blessem. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Rhein-Erft-Kreis | Rhein-Erft-Kreis

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.


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