by The Chicago Times Staff

July 16, 2021

GERMANY — Authorities in Germany and Belgium confirmed Friday that more than 125 people had died as a result of flash flooding, with hundreds more missing.

The devastating deluge came after several weeks of meteorological extremes, including high heat, drought, and heavy rain.

According to weather scientists, such severe weather occurs once every generation, but is becoming more common as a result of deteriorating climate change.

Officials announced Friday that at least 105 people have died in Germany and another 20 in Belgium as a result of rain-soaked rivers overflowing and destroying roads, homes, and other facilities.

The majority of the victims died in the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.  Officials estimate that up to 1,500 persons are missing.

Family and friends have been unable to contact those in the flooded areas due to downed cell networks and impaired Internet connection, according to officials, potentially increasing the number of people missing.