Merkel To Visit Flood-Ravaged Western Germany 

A man stands in front of a destroyed house after floods caused major damage in Schuld near Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, western Germany, on July 17, 2021. PHOTO: CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit flood-ravaged western Germany on Sunday, where the worst rainfall in living memory has caused huge destruction and left more than 130 people dead, regional officials said.

Merkel will travel to the hard-hit town of Schuld in Rhineland-Palatinate state, a spokeswoman for the regional interior ministry told AFP on Saturday, confirming earlier media reports.

The visit is set to take place in the afternoon, the spokeswoman said.

Merkel has called the flooding a national “tragedy” and promised support from the federal government to help the affected areas rebuild and recover.

READ ALSO: Europe Reels From Worst Floods In Years As Death Toll Nears 130

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier toured the town of Erftstadt in the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia on Saturday, to survey the damage from a massive landslide caused by the extreme weather.

The main candidates in the race to succeed Merkel at September’s general election have all travelled to the stricken areas in recent days.

Merkel’s visit has been delayed because she only returned on Friday from a high-profile trip to Washington, her last official visit as chancellor.

Speaking alongside US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday, Merkel said her “heart goes out to all of those who in this catastrophe lost their loved ones”.

AFP

Lightning Kills 51, Injures Many During Germany Festival

Germany-Lightning -FestivalAt least 51 people have been injured in western Germany with eight of them seriously hurt, after lightning struck at a rock festival on Saturday.

According to BBC, German Police say two people had to be resuscitated.

The organisers of the Rock am Ring festival, now in its 31st year, said that the 2016 event would continue.

They added that clear weather was expected later in the day.

The festival also suffered lightning strikes last year, when 33 people were hospitalised. .

Some 45,000 people are expected to attend the concert over the course of the weekend.

Central Europe has been hit by severe storms and rains over the past few weeks, leading to the death of 11 in Germany.