Non-stop heavy rainfalls for several days caused catastrophic floods across northern Europe. On 17 July, an estimated 31 deaths and 163 people were thought to be missing in Belgium, particularly in the south where Liege was the most hit. In Germany, 150 people died and thousands of casualties were reported, especially in the Rhineland-Palatinate region. The rise in water levels also brought about considerable damage in the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Having recently unveiled the EU’s sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, European commission president Ursula von der Leyen’s words delivered on 16 July in Dublin seemed timely against the backdrop of this week’s floods in the middle of summer. She said, ‘It is the intensity and the length of the events that science tells us that this is a clear indication of climate change.”
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