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Severe Flooding in Europe - Over 100 dead

  • 16-07-2021 11:03am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭ thomil


    I'm surprised that there isn't a thread on this already, but parts of western Germany, Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands have been hit by some truly horrifying flooding in recent days. In Germany, most of the affected areas are in the mountains and river valleys south of Cologne, though some areas south of the Ruhr valley have also been hit.

    Death toll climbs in western Germany flooding — live updates | News | DW | 16.07.2021

    As it stands, we're looking at 103 dead in Germany alone, with well over one thousand people missing, though the exact numbers are unclear. There have also been at least 14 deaths in Belgium as the result of this event.

    Now, as some of you may know, I'm German myself. I don't have any friends or family in the affected areas, though I do have friends who do. The scale of this event is just beyond anything we've seen in Germany in recent memory, though. I've witnessed both the 2002 and 2013 floods, each dubbed "the flood of the century" by German media back then, yet the current event has already taken more lives than those two combined.

    I just hope that there aren't too many more casualties.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!



«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,085 ✭✭✭ Feisar


    Just heard about it on the radio this morning, shocking stuff.

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Registered Users Posts: 29,154 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    Shocking footage on the news last night.

    Reminded me of the bad floods we had in Donegal in 2017, when many roads and bridges were badly damaged, but of course this was on a completely different level altogether.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,366 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i work with a lot of germans, but mainly based further north, around duesseldorf. they were saying the rain there was near biblical.



  • Registered Users Posts: 20,750 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Yes, I know someone in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt, and he was out in the middle of the night cleaning gutters that were overflowing onto a balcony and threatening to flood his bedroom. Mind you having lived there myself, that part of Germany is no stranger to biblical rainfall. I've been in situations where traffic on some of the main motorways has come to a complete standstill because nobody could see where they were going. These were usually fairly short lived storms though, not as prolonged as what happened here.



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I just caught the tail end of this on the news last night. One side of a house completely swept away.

    Was this caused by one river bursting its banks?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,210 ✭✭✭ The J Stands for Jay


    I heard the other day that a lot of the materials used to repair the roads and bridges were supplied by Cassidys. Could be trouble ahead...



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭ thomil


    Not really. It was prolonged torrential rainfall in an area of low mountains south of both Cologne and the Ruhr Valley. This caused not only most of the local streams and rivers to burst their banks, but the geography also meant that there was really no place for the water to go. As Alun pointed out, those areas are used to seeing bursts torrential rain in the summer, in fact that area is kind of notorious for it. It's just the extreme intensity and duration of the rainfall that caused this event to be as destructive as it is.

    As it stands, a number of towns are still cut off, both road-wise and with regards to power, landline and mobile coverage. The armed forces have been deployed and put under local control, rather than being coordinated by the Ministry of Defence. Given how wary Germany is about letting the military of the leash, that should tell you something about how serious the situation is.

    Edit: Just to add, German news website Tagesschau is just reporting that the number of deaths in Belgium has been increased from 14 to 23. 13 are missing there, and many are apparently trapped on rooftops without food or water.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,366 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    one of my german colleagues was saying that an area of high pressure to the northeast was keeping that area of low pressure swirling over central europe, which was one of the reasons for the weather conditions.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭ thomil


    That's one of the reasons alright. Basically, a large low pressure area is wedged in between two stable highs, one northeast of Germany and the other over the British isles, the latter ironically being the reason for the great weather we're having at the moment here in Ireland.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!



  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    is there a dam that they’re worried about at the minute? Could be in Germany, Belgium or Netherlands.



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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,750 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    There's a few in that part of Germany I believe. Thing is that they were already full before all this, and some of them have already overflowed the top of the dam and caused some damage to the earth bank on the other side. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen if one of them failed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 513 ✭✭✭ isha



    Shows the dam.

    One of my children lives quite near the flooded areas. Some parts of their town have been evacuated. So far the water in rivers has risen but not come up to their house, thankfully. There is huge destruction in the wider area, infrastructure, houses - it will be a massive effort to rebuild.

    It is almost incredible to read that hundreds are still unaccounted for - it is catastrophic, really. Hopefully with many people it is a communications issue, but the force of the water was massive.



  • Registered Users Posts: 513 ✭✭✭ isha


    Apologies for rambling, but I just have difficulty wrapping my head around this. _ Thomil.


    Me too, frankly, and I am not German!

    It is catastrophic where it has hit.



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 42,366 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    i don't know if the Ruhr valley was hit, but this is an interesting watch:




  • Registered Users Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭ Barna77


    Shocking.

    I've seen flood marks in Cochem (and in the Danube in Austria) from previous years and they are truly frightening.



  • Posts: 0 ✭✭ [Deleted User]


    It was awful to hear about the loss of life and devastation.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,836 ✭✭✭ thomil


    The Ruhr Valley itself has apparently escaped the worst of it. Most of the really bad rainfall happened on the west bank of the Rhine and in the mountains south of Cologne. There was flooding, but most of it apparently stayed within the realm of what these regions get every summer anyway.

    Having said that, the city of Wuppertal, which is south of the Ruhr Valley, seems to have taken a major beating. The famous suspension railway in that city has been shut down until authorities have had a chance to inspect the foundations, and it looks as if district heating lines have also been destroyed.

    Good luck trying to figure me out. I haven't managed that myself yet!



  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 17,321 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Black Oil




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  • Registered Users Posts: 710 ✭✭✭ TefalBrain


    I see the Green lobby is attempting to blame this on climate change, without any evidence to back it up.



  • Registered Users Posts: 489 ✭✭ Mullaghteelin


    I couldn't help but notice the flooded towns were surrounded by higher ground sloping upwards on all sides.... but all the buildings were concentrated down on the valley floor, alongside the river.

    As a species we really should stop building our settlements in literally the first places that flood.

    "Once in a thousand year floods" is becoming a cliché.

    Intense localised downpours sparked by the heat & humidity of Summer, is something we should expect to happen... even without climate change.



  • Registered Users Posts: 710 ✭✭✭ TefalBrain




  • Registered Users Posts: 11,939 ✭✭✭✭ Varik


    The hundred year or Thousand year flood/storm/earthquake means the event has a yearly probability of 1% or 0.1%, the same way a coin flip might be 50% but you could still get heads multiple times in a row.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,987 ✭✭✭ haphaphap


    If you live in a town with Bach or see or gemünd or tal in the name you should have a fair idea that there is a risk of flooding. The big navigible rivers aren't affected as water flow is controlled and towns like cochem will never flood like they did in previous centuries. Thise old pegelstände high water marks are historical and rivers will never flood to those levels again.

    The climate change doomsayers will of course blame climate change for something unrelated. The summer rain in middle Europe is of a different type in that when it comes it comes as a downpour in the evenings, not the light persistent rain you see in Ireland.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,987 ✭✭✭ haphaphap


    Yes, they would have stayed there due to some existing geographical or socio-political necessities. The pegelstände recorded on walls are testament to this.



  • Registered Users Posts: 11,939 ✭✭✭✭ Varik


    Major issue is urbanization and covering large swaths of land in impermeable surfaces, with flood prevention being majorly focused on just moving that water as quickly as possible via drains into the nearest river and then hoping that doesn't causes issues downriver where ever increasingly large flows added lead to massive erosion.

    It doesn't take biblically heavy rain to flood modern streets.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,769 ✭✭✭ LorenzoB




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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,987 ✭✭✭ haphaphap


    Not in the part of Germany I am familiar with. The planning permission specifies the surface of the site must be able to hold water so that prevents everything being concreted over.



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