Bonn/Rhein-Sieg-Kreis//Kreis Ahrweiler The number of people who died a week ago in the flood disaster in the district of Ahrweiler has increased further. 155 people are still missing. Meanwhile, the German government has launched emergency aid worth millions.
Heavy rain, masses of water and landslides have had devastating consequences for Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. More than a hundred people are dead, and many are still missing in the Ahrweiler district. A disaster situation was declared for Rheinbach, Swisttal and the Ahrweiler district, and entire towns were destroyed. Rescue forces, police, fire department, federal armed forces and many voluntary helpers are in continuous operation. An overview of all important telephone numbers and donation accounts can be found under this link.
Three more deaths confirmed in Ahrweiler district
The number of people who have died in the wake of the flood disaster in the district of Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate increased further on Wednesday: from 122 to 125 fatalities. This was reported by Interior Minister Roger Lewentz this evening at the Nürburgring. Together with Minister President Malu Dreyer, he had visited the donation center there.
764 injured people had been treated so far and 155 people were still missing, police operations manager Heinz Wolschendorf had said earlier in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler. It was unclear how many holidaymakers were among them and how many people had stayed at the campsites affected by the floods. Almost 42,000 people were affected by the disaster, he said.
Official warning: Be sure to boil drinking water in flooded areas
About the warning app Nina issued the Federal Office for Civil Protection on Wednesday evening there is once again a warning against drinking water consumption in the flooded areas. Samples taken had revealed microbiological deviations in drinking water, it said in justification of the hazardous situation. The service classified the situation as an "extreme hazard" and warned that tap water should only be drunk boiled in any case. "Let the water boil once until bubbling and then cool slowly over at least 10 minutes," the federal agency recommended.
More than 4500 helpers - seven million euros in donations - 62 bridges destroyed
The Nürburgring serves as a base camp for the deployment of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief, the fire department, rescue services and the German Armed Forces for the flood disaster area in the Ahr Valley. During a visit by Minister President Malu Dreyer and Interior Minister Roger Lewentz, further figures on the flood disaster and the state's relief efforts have now been released. 200 tents and more than 400 emergency vehicles are currently stationed at the Nürburgring site. Until Thursday, more than 4500 helpers are expected, said Heinz Wolschendorf, head of operations.
That the damage has not been repaired even a week after the heavy rain is made clear by another figure: 62 bridges were completely or partially destroyed by the flood in the Ahr Valley. "We are nowhere near out of the woods yet," Dreyer said, but at the same time thanked the professional and volunteer helpers.
The Minister President also thanked the citizens for their donation support. The state government's donation account for the flood victims alone has already received more than seven million euros. Like the emergency aid from the federal and state governments, the money will be disbursed through the districts in an unbureaucratic manner, Dreyer assured.
Churches in Bonn offer pastoral care hotline
Churches in Bonn have set up a pastoral care hotline for people suffering from the consequences of the storm disaster. The hotline is staffed daily, including weekends, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by Protestant and Catholic chaplains and pastors from Bonn, the Protestant church in Bonn announced Wednesday. The number is 0700 11 000 11 219.
The hotline is primarily an offer for the many hundreds of people who have been evacuated from their destroyed homes and are now housed in Bonn hotels and retirement homes, explained press pastor Joachim Gerhardt. However, the contact persons are available for all people in Bonn and the region who are looking for pastoral care in connection with the flood disaster. The hotline is intended as an additional service to the telephone counseling service.
Original text: ga/dpa
Translation: Mareike Graepel