By Nadine Schmidt, Schams Elwazer, Barbara Wojazer, Sharon Braithwaite, Joseph Ataman and Vasco Cotovio, CNN|
Berlin and Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany (CNN) Catastrophic flooding in western Europe has killed more than 120 people, with hundreds more missing, authorities said Friday, as large-scale rescue efforts continue amid rising water, landslides and power outages.
Shocking images of the devastation in Germany and Belgium showed entire villages underwater, with cars wedged in between collapsed buildings and debris. The Netherlands and Luxembourg have also been affected by the extreme rainfall.
In Germany, at least 105 people have been killed across two western states. In the hard-hit district of Ahrweiler, in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, authorities told CNN that 1,300 people remained unaccounted for.
“There is no end in sight just yet,” Ulrich Sopart, a police spokesman in the city of Koblenz, told CNN. He said that authorities are hopeful that they will be able to revise down the number of missing people as the rescue operation continues and phone lines are restored.
”Our hopes are that some people might have been registered as missing twice or even three times — if for example a family member, a work colleague or a friend has registered a person as missing,” Sopart said.
”Also, [in] some places phone lines are still down and reception is difficult. We do hope that people will get in touch with a relative, work colleague or friend to let them know they are fine,” he said.