The flood disaster did not hit North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate as surprisingly as previously assumed. Because according to a British flood expert, German authorities had very specific warnings.
Could the residents of the flood-affected areas have been warned? Yes says Hannah Cloke, professor of hydrology at Reading University in the UK and one of the developers of the European flood warning system (Efas) der ‘Sunday Times’ . According to this, satellites had recorded the first signs of the impending flood disaster nine days earlier.
Four days before the floods, Efas warned the governments of the Federal Republic and Belgium of flooding on the Rhine and Meuse. 24 hours before the disaster, the German authorities had been predicted almost exactly which areas would be affected by the flood, including the Ahrweiler district, where at least 117 people perished in the floods.
Flood warnings did not reach people
Cloke mentions that many people were still surprised by the masses of water in der ‘Sunday Times’ a ‘monumental system failure’. The fact that people have not been evacuated or have not received the warnings suggests that something may have gone wrong. ‘Somewhere that chain of warnings broke, so that the messages didn’t get through to the people,’ said Cloke ‘ZDF today’ .
Muddy water, rubble and a huge hole: before and after photos show the extent of the destruction
According to ‘picture’ the Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia admits that the ‘official warnings of extreme storms’ were ‘concretized’ on Monday at 10:28 a.m. The concrete preparations would, however, be at the discretion of the districts and urban districts.
Watch the video: ‘This flood will leave scars’ – Mayor of Guilt weeps for flood victims.
‘Processing is not expedient now’
The city of Sinzig, for example, has Wednesday at 11.09 p.m. including via Facebook urged residents of the Ahr to leave their apartments if they live up to 50 meters from the river.
According to ‘ZDF today’ the district administration of Ahrweiler announced on Saturday evening that ‘the extent of the situation has exceeded the previous water levels and the human suffering and material losses associated with the situation many times over’. A comprehensive review of the situation will take place after it has been dealt with. ‘It is not expedient to come to terms with it at this point in time.’