Bonn/Region The flooding has claimed the lives of 51 people in the Ahrweiler, Rhein-Sieg and Euskirchen districts and many people are still missing. The dam at the Steinbach reservoir is in danger of bursting and entire villages have had to be evacuated.
Hundreds of fire-fighter brigades have been deployed in many parts of NRW due to the heavy rain, torrents of water and landslides. There are first reports of fatalities. In Bonn and the region, the rescue services are in constant action. The district of Ahrweiler has been declared a disaster zone. Entire villages in Rheinbach and Swisttal have been evacuated.
The Bonn Fire Brigade has set up a telephone number for local residents to report storm damage (0228 / 717171). Detailed information (in German) about the precautions to be taken against flooding and heavy rain and to assess personal risk can be found at bonn.de/starkregen. Weather forecasts for Bonn and the region can be found at ga.de/weather.
Number of fatalities in North Rhine-Westphalia rises to 59
The number of people who have died in the catastrophe continued to rise on Friday night. 28 people have lost their lives in the district of Ahrweiler and 20 in the district of Euskirchen. There have been three fatalities in Rheinbach, two in Cologne. Furthermore, two firefighters died in the Sauerland, two people in Geilenkirchen and one person in the district of Unna and another in the district of Solingen. The authorities in Ahrweiler assume 1,300 missing persons and more deaths.
Steinbach dam to be re-examined on Friday morning
The situation in the region remains tense on Friday morning. In Euskirchen, the Steinbach dam is to be re-examined. The water level fell on Thursday evening. The service water reservoir, whose dam has deep furrows, had been classified as “very unstable” by an expert the day before. Several villages have been evacuated for safety reasons, affecting around 4500 inhabitants.
Rur dam overflowed
Meanwhile, shortly before midnight, the Rur dam overflowed “at a low momentum”, according to the Eifel-Rur water board. As a result, the lower reaches of the Rur and local houses and cellars are expected to be flooded. The water board warned people to stay away from the river because of the risk of being swept away. Flooded cellars should not be entered. Evacuations are to be expected in the particularly badly affected areas. Road closures are likely.
200 emergency forces on the way to Ahrweiler
A total of 200 emergency forces with 100 ambulances set off from Bruchsal to the district of Ahrweiler. The emergency forces will assist in the transfer of patients from hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, according to the city of Bruchsal. The vehicles travelled in convoys of 25. The deployment is made at the request of the Rhineland-Palatinate Ministry of the Interior.
Roads closed in Ahr valley
Following the severe weather, several roads around the Ahr valley are still closed. Koblenz police announced on Friday morning that the 61 motorway is impassable in both directions between the junction Meckenheim/Türnich. The B9 main road is also closed on both sides between Bad Breisig and Remagen. Police ask motorists to avoid the Ahr valley as far as possible. Rescue workers are still on duty, they said.
Power restored in Rheinbach
Electricity in Rheinbach has been running again since around 2 am. However, mobile phone and internet connections are still unstable.
(Original text: GA, Translation: Caroline Kusch)