(CNN)The number of people killed in the catastrophic flooding across parts of western Europe rose to 157 on Saturday morning, as a desperate search for survivors continues despite rising waters, landslides and power outages.

At least 133 people died in Germany when the floods swept across the western states of North-Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatine and Saarland. In Belgium, 24 were confirmed dead, with authorities warning the number could go up.Luxembourg and the Netherlands have also been affected by the extreme rainfall, but have not reported any fatalities. Images showed entire towns and villages underwater, cars wedged between collapsed buildings and homes buried under landslides and debris. Marie-Louise Grosjean, a shop owner in Pepinster, Belgium, saw a decade of hard work swept away by water and mud on Friday, when the water entered her wine and decorations store. She said her father has lived in the town for 70 years and has never seen anything like that. Grosjean’s son Arthur told CNN the flooding game very quickly, leaving only destruction behind.Read More”Thankfully I don’t live there but it’s my mother’s business and there is nothing here. We hope we can quickly repair but we don’t know how,” he said, as he was helping the clear-up. European officials say 'climate change has arrived' as deadly floods engulf entire townsEuropean officials say 'climate change has arrived' as deadly floods engulf entire townsEuropean officials say 'climate change has arrived' as deadly floods engulf entire townsCommunication lines remain disrupted, leaving people unable to reach loved ones. Police in Koblenz told CNN on Saturday that while up to 1,300 people were still unaccounted for, authorities were hoping the numbers would be revised down as the rescue operation continues.”There is no end in sight just yet,” Ulrich Sopart, a police spokesman in the city, told CNN. ”Our hopes are that some people might have been registered as missing twice or even three times — if for example a family member, a work colleague or a friend has registered a person as missing,” Sopart said.”Also, [in] some places phone lines are still down and reception is difficult. We do hope that people will get in touch with a relative, work colleague or friend to let them know they are fine,” he said.The German army deployed 850 soldiers for disaster relief and the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is scheduled to visit the Rhein-Erft district of North Rhine-Westphalia state on Saturday, his office said. Villages along the river Ahr have been left without power and phone coverage, with some areas completely cut off, forcing the military and search and rescue helicopters to survey the area from the air, searching for stranded survivors.Camping trailers, debris and garbage pile up in the Ahr River in front of Kreuzberg Castle in western Germany.Camping trailers, debris and garbage pile up in the Ahr River in front of Kreuzberg Castle in western Germany.Camping trailers, debris and garbage pile up in the Ahr River in front of Kreuzberg Castle in western Germany.A dam along the river Rur in North Rhine-Westphalia broke Friday night, according to the regional government. Officials have started the evacuation of about 700 residents in the Ophoven neighborhood in the city of Wassenberg. Across the border in Belgium, the Belgian army is racing against the time with search and rescue operations. “The situation is changing by the minute, and remains extremely critical in many places,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said at a news conference on Friday. “The victims are the priority, rescuing is the priority, and care. All possible means are mobilized,” he added, announcing that Belgium will hold a national day of mourning for flood victims on Tuesday. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, Dutch officials ordered the evacuation of 10,000 people in the municipality of Venlo, where the Maas river rose faster than expected. The high waters are expected to last until Sunday evening. Officials fear more dams could break and are closely monitoring reservoirs in the region. On Friday, a hospital in the region with 200 patients was evacuated.This aerial photo shows flooding in Erftstadt, Germany, on July 16.This aerial photo shows flooding in Erftstadt, Germany, on July 16. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeThis aerial photo shows flooding in Erftstadt, Germany, on July 16.Hide Caption 1 of 29A water level gauge in Arcen, North Limburg shows rising waters on July 17. Dutch officials ordered the evacuation of 10,000 people in the municipality of Venlo, as the Maas river  was rising there faster than expected.A water level gauge in Arcen, North Limburg shows rising waters on July 17. Dutch officials ordered the evacuation of 10,000 people in the municipality of Venlo, as the Maas river  was rising there faster than expected. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA water level gauge in Arcen, North Limburg shows rising waters on July 17. Dutch officials ordered the evacuation of 10,000 people in the municipality of Venlo, as the Maas river was rising there faster than expected.Hide Caption 2 of 29An Arcen resident looks at the rising water of the river Maas.An Arcen resident looks at the rising water of the river Maas. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeAn Arcen resident looks at the rising water of the river Maas.Hide Caption 3 of 29A man brushes water and mud out of his flooded house in Ensival, Belgium, on July 16.A man brushes water and mud out of his flooded house in Ensival, Belgium, on July 16. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA man brushes water and mud out of his flooded house in Ensival, Belgium, on July 16.Hide Caption 4 of 29People collect debris in the pedestrian area of Bad Muenstereifel, western Germany.People collect debris in the pedestrian area of Bad Muenstereifel, western Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople collect debris in the pedestrian area of Bad Muenstereifel, western Germany.Hide Caption 5 of 29The Steinbach dam in North Rhine-Westphalia, Euskirchen is seen after flooding.The Steinbach dam in North Rhine-Westphalia, Euskirchen is seen after flooding. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeThe Steinbach dam in North Rhine-Westphalia, Euskirchen is seen after flooding.Hide Caption 6 of 29Firefighters walk past a car that was damaged by flooding in Schuld, Germany.Firefighters walk past a car that was damaged by flooding in Schuld, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeFirefighters walk past a car that was damaged by flooding in Schuld, Germany.Hide Caption 7 of 29People lay sandbags in Roermond, Netherlands, on July 16.People lay sandbags in Roermond, Netherlands, on July 16. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople lay sandbags in Roermond, Netherlands, on July 16.Hide Caption 8 of 29A woman sorts through clothing at a shelter in Liege, Belgium, on Friday.A woman sorts through clothing at a shelter in Liege, Belgium, on Friday. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA woman sorts through clothing at a shelter in Liege, Belgium, on Friday.Hide Caption 9 of 29A woman walks up the stairs of her damaged house in Ensival, Belgium.A woman walks up the stairs of her damaged house in Ensival, Belgium. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA woman walks up the stairs of her damaged house in Ensival, Belgium.Hide Caption 10 of 29A man walks through a flooded part of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on Thursday.A man walks through a flooded part of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on Thursday. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA man walks through a flooded part of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, on Thursday.Hide Caption 11 of 29A regional train sits in floodwaters at the local station in Kordel, Germany.A regional train sits in floodwaters at the local station in Kordel, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA regional train sits in floodwaters at the local station in Kordel, Germany.Hide Caption 12 of 29People use rafts to evacuate after the Meuse River broke its banks during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium.People use rafts to evacuate after the Meuse River broke its banks during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople use rafts to evacuate after the Meuse River broke its banks during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium.Hide Caption 13 of 29People look at a railway crossing that was destroyed by the flooding in Priorei, Germany.People look at a railway crossing that was destroyed by the flooding in Priorei, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople look at a railway crossing that was destroyed by the flooding in Priorei, Germany.Hide Caption 14 of 29Men walk by damaged homes in Schuld, Germany.Men walk by damaged homes in Schuld, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeMen walk by damaged homes in Schuld, Germany.Hide Caption 15 of 29A man surveys what remains of his house in Schuld.A man surveys what remains of his house in Schuld. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA man surveys what remains of his house in Schuld.Hide Caption 16 of 29Water from the Ahr River flows past a damaged bridge in Schuld.Water from the Ahr River flows past a damaged bridge in Schuld. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeWater from the Ahr River flows past a damaged bridge in Schuld.Hide Caption 17 of 29Evacuees ride a bus in Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands.Evacuees ride a bus in Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeEvacuees ride a bus in Valkenburg aan de Geul, Netherlands.Hide Caption 18 of 29A car floats in the Meuse River during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium, on Thursday.A car floats in the Meuse River during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium, on Thursday. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA car floats in the Meuse River during heavy flooding in Liege, Belgium, on Thursday.Hide Caption 19 of 29People walk on a damaged road in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany.People walk on a damaged road in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople walk on a damaged road in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany.Hide Caption 20 of 29A resident uses a bucket to remove water from a house cellar in Hagen, Germany.A resident uses a bucket to remove water from a house cellar in Hagen, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA resident uses a bucket to remove water from a house cellar in Hagen, Germany.Hide Caption 21 of 29A man and woman stand on the stoop of their home as they look at floodwaters in Geulle, Netherlands.A man and woman stand on the stoop of their home as they look at floodwaters in Geulle, Netherlands. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA man and woman stand on the stoop of their home as they look at floodwaters in Geulle, Netherlands.Hide Caption 22 of 29Houses are damaged by flooding in Insul, Germany, on Thursday.Houses are damaged by flooding in Insul, Germany, on Thursday. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeHouses are damaged by flooding in Insul, Germany, on Thursday.Hide Caption 23 of 29A man steps down a ladder in an attempt to cut his boat loose in the Meuse River in Liege, Belgium.A man steps down a ladder in an attempt to cut his boat loose in the Meuse River in Liege, Belgium. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA man steps down a ladder in an attempt to cut his boat loose in the Meuse River in Liege, Belgium.Hide Caption 24 of 29Caravans and campers are partially submerged in Roermond, Netherlands.Caravans and campers are partially submerged in Roermond, Netherlands. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeCaravans and campers are partially submerged in Roermond, Netherlands.Hide Caption 25 of 29A destroyed building is seen in a flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany.A destroyed building is seen in a flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA destroyed building is seen in a flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany.Hide Caption 26 of 29People walk over floodwaters in Stansstad, Switzerland.People walk over floodwaters in Stansstad, Switzerland. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropePeople walk over floodwaters in Stansstad, Switzerland.Hide Caption 27 of 29Cars are covered by debris in Hagen, Germany.Cars are covered by debris in Hagen, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeCars are covered by debris in Hagen, Germany.Hide Caption 28 of 29A flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany.A flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany. Photos: Deadly flooding in western EuropeA flood-affected area of Schuld, Germany.Hide Caption 29 of 2902 germany flooding aerial03a western europe flooding 0717 NETHERLANDS04 western europe flooding 0717 NETHERLANDS09 western europe flooding 071612 western europe flooding GERMANY11 western europe flooding GERMANY 0716 01 western europe flooding 071610 western europe flooding 071607 western europe flooding08 western europe flooding18 western europe flooding 0715 GERMANY19 western europe flooding 0715 GERMANY20 western europe flooding 0715 BELGIUM02 western europe flooding 071503 western europe flooding 071504 western europe flooding 071505 western europe flooding 071506 western europe flooding 071507 western europe flooding 071508 western europe flooding 071509 western europe flooding 071510 western europe flooding 071501 western europe flooding 071512 western europe flooding 071513 western europe flooding 071514 western europe flooding 071515 western europe flooding 071516 western europe flooding 071517 western europe flooding 0715Climate crisis fueling extreme rainfallThe devastating floods came after large swaths of western Europe experienced historic levels of rainfall, with more than a month’s worth of rain falling within 24 hours. Cologne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, recorded 154 millimeters (6 inches) of rainfall in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, which is nearly double its monthly average for July of 87 millimeters. In the Ahrweiler district, 207 millimeters (8.1 inches) of rain fell in only nine hours, according to the European Severe Weather Database.The downpours resulted in extreme flash flooding, with water levels rising within minutes.While it’s too early for scientists to say how big a role climate change has played in causing this particular flooding, extreme rain events like the ones seen in western Europe this week are becoming more common and more severe. The premier of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany, Armin Laschet, who is also the Conservatives’ candidate to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel in the upcoming federal election, said the floods in his state were “a catastrophe of historic proportion,” calling on the world to speed up its efforts to both mitigate and adapt to climate change.”The floods have literally pulled the rug from under people’s feet,” Laschet said.”We will be faced with such events over and over, and that means we need to speed up climate protection measures, on European, federal and global levels, because climate change isn’t confined to one state,” he said.While the overall amount of rainfall may not change over the course of the year in any given location, more of the rain is expected to fall in shorter bursts, which would tend to increase the frequency of flooding events.A damaged castle, left, is seen in Erftstadt-Blessem, Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. A damaged castle, left, is seen in Erftstadt-Blessem, Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. A damaged castle, left, is seen in Erftstadt-Blessem, Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. This was noted by scientists with the European Environmental Agency, who said that “the projected increase in frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation over large parts of Europe may increase the probability of flash floods, which pose the highest risk of fatality.”Droughts, which are also becoming more common because of the climate crisis, can make flash flooding worse because very dry soil cannot efficiently absorb water. A 2016 flooding in Western Europe that killed 18 in Germany, France, Romania and Belgium, was analyzed by scientist to see if climate change played a role in the floods. They found that a warmer climate made the flooding 80-90% more likely to occur than it was in the past before man-made climate change.

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https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/17/europe/floods-western-europe-intl/index.html

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