(Bloomberg) – Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to visit the areas affected by Germany’s worst flooding in decades as the death toll surpasses 130 and hundreds are still missing, according to Bild am Sonntag.
Merkel is scheduled to travel to Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday, the newspaper said. Water levels remain high and houses continue to collapse in some areas. A government spokeswoman said the visit is not confirmed.
On Friday night, Merkel said that the victims of the disaster will receive short-term and long-term financial support. He spoke in a video conference with Armin Laschet, prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, another of the affected states.
German politicians have called for permanent federal support from states and municipalities to adapt to climate change, which has been blamed for this week’s historic rains.
Rescue teams continue to search for survivors and thousands of homes have been without power or phone connections for days.
Thousands of people are left in darkness in Germany as floods cut off power supplies
More than 700 people were evacuated Friday night after a dam broke near the town of Wassenberg, near the Dutch border, according to the DPA. The floods have also affected parts of Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, where at least 20 people have died.
Laschet, Merkel’s CDU party candidate in the September general election, spoke of a “disaster of historic proportions.” Green Party candidate Annalena Baerbock traveled to the affected region on Friday and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited her on Saturday along with Laschet.
The floods are severely affecting Germany’s agribusiness and the country’s agriculture ministry added the issue to the agenda of a European meeting in Brussels on Monday, according to a statement on Saturday.
The disaster has also affected energy companies in Germany. Most of RWE AG’s hydroelectric dams in the western region and a power station in the Netherlands are out of operation for now, the company said in a statement Saturday.
Germany’s largest power generator also halted operations at the Tagebau Inden open pit coal mine, where an employee was reported missing on Friday, cutting supplies to a coal power plant that is now operating at capacity. reduced. The company plans to resume mining operations by the end of next week and expects damage at the median double-digit million-euro level, it said.
Weather conditions should normalize next week, which may bring some relief, national meteorologist Deutscher Wetterdienst said in his latest four-week forecast on Friday. But some parts of Germany could see more rain from July 26 to early August, he said.
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