Aerial footage of the devastating floods in Germany shows warped and crushed houses, cars and SUVs shaken, and water flowing through residential neighborhoods.
Historic torrential rains inundated parts of western Germany and Belgium this week, clearing roads, disrupting some communications and triggering a regional state of emergency as authorities attempt to locate up to 1,500 persons presumed missing.
At least 126 people in Germany and Belgium have been confirmed dead by NBC News.
Resident Andreas Mueller said he finally reached his relatives around the village of Schuld in the hard-hit state of Rhineland-Palatinate after numerous attempts.
“Yes, there was no phone connection either, but we tried to reach them all night,” he said. “And it was very difficult to have them.”
The torrential rains made rivers overflow, carrying vehicles, sometimes rolling. Many homes, businesses and structures appeared to be complete wastes, their lumber strewn nearby or sent downstream.
Weather experts said rains and flooding were rare and the devastation of the week could be the region’s worst natural disaster in more than 50 years.
The World Meteorological Organization said devastated areas received up to two months of rain in two days.
WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis said it was too early to blame the flooding on the drastic weather conditions caused by rising global temperatures, but added: “Climate change is already increasing the frequency of events. extremes. global warming.”
President Joe Biden expressed his condolences to the survivors in Germany and Belgium on behalf of the American people.
The Associated Press contributed.