Flooding in Europe, in Pictures

Flooding in Europe, in Pictures

Flooding in Europe, in Pictures

Flooding in Europe, in Pictures

The heavy rain and flooding that began on Wednesday in Europe has continued, with 106 lives lost in Germany by Friday, and at least 20 in Belgium. Hundreds of people are still missing, and the grim expectation is that many of them have not survived.

Images from throughout Europe show sinkholes that swallowed up houses and buildings. Streets lined with once tidy houses and shops have been disemboweled, their sewer and utility lines now exposed. Cars were carried away by torrents of water and deposited upside down or upended against trees. Homes have been emptied out, their contents mixed into oozing mud pits.

The raging rivers have also swept away cellphone towers and fiber optic cables, further hampering rescue efforts.

Even some of the dikes that have long protected Holland have been overcome by water levels not seen since before the outbreak of World War I.

The flooding came the same week that Europe unveiled its ambitious plan for moving away from fossil fuels to mitigate climate change and become carbon neutral by 2050. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s president, was among the many who linked the devastation to the need to deal with climate change.

“Only when we take action against climate change can we keep the events that we are now experiencing within limits,” he said.

Photos from the devastated areas show how far beyond those limits the flooding has reached.


A once bustling shopping street in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, has become a dump for flood-damaged merchandise.

The destruction in parts of the Blessem district of Erftstadt, Germany, is complete.

The Aare River turned an outdoor dining patio in Bern, Switzerland, into a pond.

A damaged bridge over the Ahr River in Schuld, Germany.

One wheel is the only clear hint that a vehicle is entombed under mud and debris in Schuld.

A tree caught another car when it was swept along by floodwaters in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler.

Its ballast undermined by water, the rails of tracks in Jemelle, Belgium, took on the appearance of a roller coaster.

A church and cemetery after flooding in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler.

Schuld, one of the most devastated towns in Germany, lay in ruins on Friday.

The surviving buildings of Schuld are now surrounded by debris from the structures the Ahr swept away.

With water levels at heights not seen since 1911, parts of the Netherlands have flooded, including Wessem.

Floodwaters stranded a train just short of a station in Kordel, Germany.

People turned to inflatable rafts in Liège, Belgium, after the Meuse River broke its banks.

The Ahr sweeping past the destruction it bought to Insul, Germany.

A campground in Roermond, Netherlands, lies submerged.

Only a large truck and a front-end loader were able to travel on some of the streets in Valkenburg, Netherlands.

A lookout at Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, became part of the lake itself.


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