The number of people who lost their lives in the heavy floods in the western part of Germany increased to at least 81, according to German broadcaster ARD. More than 1,000 people were missing in the Neuenahr-Ahrweiler region, Koblenz police said.
Swollen rivers caused by record rainfall swept through German towns and villages, leaving cars upended, houses destroyed and people stranded on rooftops. In the town of Schuld, houses were reduced to piles of debris and broken beams. Roads were blocked by wreckage and fallen trees.
The floods have caused Germany’s worst mass loss of life in years. Flooding in 2002 killed 21 people in eastern Germany and more than 100 across the wider central European region.