The news from the flood areas instern-Ticker.
Table of Contents
- 4:28 p.m.: North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister takes cities and districts under protection
- 2:14 p.m.: Forecast expert: DWD issued the first warning information on Monday
- 1:25 p.m.: Seehofer calls criticism of disaster control ‘cheap campaign rhetoric’
- 11.52 a.m.: Evacuations at Steinbachtalsperre near Euskirchen canceled
- 10.07 a.m.: Passau fire brigade rescues rubber dinghy drivers from floods on the Danube
- 9.39 a.m.: Mayor of Altenahr expects months of emergency supply with water and electricity
- 7.42 a.m.: Flood situation in Bavaria relaxes a bit
- 2 a.m.: Flood disaster: FDP speaks of ‘system failure’
Read all the news of the day:
The news from the flood areas instern-Ticker:
6:55 p.m.: Districts plead for new siren signals in the event of a disaster
After the experience with the flood disaster, the districts in Rhineland-Palatinate are calling for a warning system with new siren signals. ‘The digital alarm does not work if there is no sound,’ said the managing director of the district council, Burkhard Müller, on Monday with a view to Thursday night in the Ahrweiler district, where at least 117 people were killed. The SWR had previously reported on the district council’s demand.
We urgently need to draw conclusions from these experiences, said Müller of the German Press Agency. ‘We have to establish new siren signals.’ The established signals such as air raid alarms or ABC alarms in the event of an attack with atomic, biological or chemical weapons are no longer up-to-date. ‘I think four to five new signals are imperative.’ This should also include a signal not to be in the basement under any circumstances.
6:52 p.m.: Insolvency administrators demand forbearance for flood-plagued companies
In view of the destruction caused by the floods in parts of Germany, the insolvency administrator association VID has spoken out in favor of suspending the insolvency obligation. ‘The last thing companies and entrepreneurs need now is a discussion about existing insolvency filing obligations,’ said VID chairman Christoph Niering, according to the announcement. A corresponding regulation was also in place from 2016 to 2017 after the flood disaster at the time. ‘It is not only important that the state aid reaches the companies concerned as quickly as possible, but that the entrepreneurs can also plan an attempt to restart, free from any liability risks under insolvency law,’ demanded the association.
5.42 p.m.: Appeals for donations and fake shops: Fraudsters take advantage of floods
With fake internet shops and appeals for donations, criminals apparently took advantage of the flood disaster and killed people. In three cases, suspected fraudsters had offered building dryers online, as the police in Cologne and Bonn reported on Monday. After those affected had ordered there and paid in advance, the companies could no longer be reached by phone. In another case, an alleged electrical company would have offered repairs, but would not have carried them out after payment.
In Cologne, the police are looking for alleged fraudsters who have copied a photo published on Facebook of an apartment destroyed by the flood and then asked for donations in a new post. It is now being determined whether someone has followed the call. The post had been deleted. In all cases, suspected fraud is investigated. The Police warned in the message against fraud in connection with the flood disaster.
5.34 p.m.: The number of flood deaths in Rhineland-Palatinate is now 117
On the fifth day after the devastating storm, the dead were still being recovered in Rhineland-Palatinate. Their number rose from Sunday to Monday by 7 to 117. The police are expecting more deaths.
‘To what extent, we cannot say,’ said police spokesman Lars Brummer in Koblenz. How many people are missing is still unclear because the cell phone and telephone networks are still not working everywhere. In addition, not all reports could yet be compared.
4:28 p.m.: North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister takes cities and districts under protection
From the point of view of the North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior, the cities and districts reacted well to the storm. ‘The decisions on site were made correctly,’ said Reul in Düsseldorf. ‘I don’t know of any cases where damage has occurred due to evacuation being too late.’ A bigger problem was often that people did not take warnings seriously and did not want to leave their home.
The districts and cities are responsible for the protective measures, affirmed Reul. ‘This is a sharp encroachment on fundamental rights to evict people from their land.’ This is therefore very carefully weighed on site.
Reul promised to ‘relentlessly and honestly’ clarify the actions of the state authorities. But now is not the time for that. Regarding the criticism of civil protection, Reul said: ‘The essence of disasters is that they cannot be foreseen.’ That applies even more to natural disasters.
4.15 p.m.: Ministry confirmed: DWD warned on Monday
According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the German Weather Service (DWD) notified the responsible authorities two days before the storm in western Germany. A ministry spokesman announced that the DWD had “informed about the impending heavy rain events” on Monday morning, July 12th at 6 a.m. ‘This information was sent to the responsible disaster control agencies in the federal states, districts and municipalities.’ The specific protective measures to be derived from this are to be taken by the emergency services on site.
The spokesman emphasized that in Germany the DWD is responsible for warning of extreme weather events with its official storm warnings. The weather service “comprehensibly fulfilled” this order.
4:03 p.m.: Bundeswehr flies relief supplies to affected villages
After the storm disaster, the Bundeswehr flies aid supplies from the Nürburgring with helicopters to the villages, some of which are still cut off. ‘Every minute, vital goods such as water and medical equipment go from the Nürburgring to the affected areas,’ wrote the army on Twitter on Monday.
The Bundeswehr also provided 4800 camp beds, wrote the so-called armed forces base. In total, more than 1000 soldiers were on duty on Monday, including around 550 in North Rhine-Westphalia, 300 in Rhineland-Palatinate and now around 100 in Bavaria.
3:55 p.m.: Now 47 flood deaths in NRW – Reul does not rule out further victims
In North Rhine-Westphalia, the number of known fatalities has risen by one person to 47. As Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) added, one could still not rule out the possibility of discovering more victims.
3:52 p.m.: Farmers’ association for emergency aid to farmers
The General Secretary of the German Farmers’ Association, Bernhard Krüsken, has spoken out in favor of giving farmers part of the planned emergency aid from the federal government in connection with the floods in several parts of Germany. ‘It is important and right that the farms are also given immediate aid. Agriculture has been massively affected by the flood disaster, ‘Krüsken told the German press agency on Monday.
The association welcomed the demand by Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) to also include agricultural businesses in the federal government’s planned emergency program. ‘We rate this requirement consistently positive,’ said Krüsken.
3.13 p.m.: No dead people discovered in vehicles on the B265
All vehicles trapped by the flood were recovered from the flooded federal highway 265 near Erftstadt (North Rhine-Westphalia). Fortunately, the dead have not yet been discovered, said a spokesman for the Rhein-Erft district on Monday. However, there is still a rain retention basin near the road that is still being pumped out.
As the city of Erftstadt announced on its Facebook page, five more vehicles should be salvaged from the basin in the course of Monday. But the city also stated: ‘Fortunately, no people were found in the vehicles there.’
More than 100 vehicles were trapped by the flood on the B265 near Erftstadt. The Rhein-Erft district had stated that it was unclear whether all the occupants had made it out of their cars in time when they were surprised by the masses of water.
3:06 p.m.: Report: 400 million euros in emergency aid planned for flood regions
According to a report, emergency aid from the federal and state governments of at least 400 million euros is to be given to the regions affected by the recent floods. The federal government contributed 200 million, the other 200 million would be taken over by the affected federal states, reported the ‘Rheinische Post’ (Tuesday edition), citing government circles. Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) spoke of ‘well over 300 million euros’ at the weekend.
If necessary, the funds could be increased beyond 400 million euros, according to the ‘Rheinische Post’ from government circles. The emergency aid should therefore be part of a package of measures around the storm disaster, which, according to the previous planning, the federal cabinet will deal with on Wednesday.
2.30 p.m.: Seehofer an der Ahr: Reconstruction will cost billions
During a visit to the disaster area on the Ahr, Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) estimated the cost of the reconstruction at several billion euros. ‘This is an exceptional situation that we can only cope with with all the efforts on site in a major national effort,’ said Seehofer in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler.
Seehofer also promised uncomplicated help for those affected in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. ‘It is very important to us that you not only find the right words now, but that these words are followed by deeds,’ said the CSU politician.
2.20 p.m.: After the flood disaster, only ‘local disruptions’ at VW
According to the company, the effects of the flood disaster on Volkswagen’s logistics are limited. As at the end of last week, there are currently ‘only local disruptions at a few supplier locations,’ said the Wolfsburg headquarters. Overall, the parts supply network works despite the consequences of the storm. Production is therefore not restricted.
2:18 p.m.: Kramp-Karrenbauer commemorates the flood victims
Federal Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) thought of the victims of the flood disaster and praised the relief efforts of Bundeswehr soldiers. ‘My first thoughts and words apply to those who have become victims of the flood disaster in Germany in such a terrible way in the last few days, whether that was the case in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria or here in Saxony’, she said at an event in Frankenberg near Chemnitz. ‘We think of those who have lost their lives, of those who have lost loved ones, of those who are left without their belongings, but we also think of those who have helped in the last few days, hours and still help.’
2:14 p.m.: Forecast expert: DWD issued the first warning information on Monday
In the case of the severe storms in western Germany last week, the computer models of the German Weather Service (DWD) already gave clear indications on Monday. ‘On Monday we were able to publish the advance information, which already stated that up to 200 liters (precipitation per square meter) are expected,’ said Franz-Josef Molé, the head of the forecast and advice center of the German Weather Service (DWD) German press agency. ‘It didn’t really work before.’
The forecasting experts worked with around 100 different simulations of their different computer models – ‘and in principle most of them were fairly certain to target western Germany for the period from Wednesday to Thursday night.’
2:03 p.m.: Linke calls for extensive federal aid for victims of the flood disaster
The Left demands far-reaching help and reimbursement of costs from the federal government for those affected by the flood disaster. A ‘federal fund for victim assistance’ is necessary, said Left Federal Managing Director Jörg Schindler in Berlin. The municipalities would have to offer the people who have become homeless accommodation, for example in hotels – the federal government must ‘urgently’ declare that it will bear the costs for this.
People needed security, said Schindler. This is very current, but also in relation to a ‘comprehensive reconstruction’. At the same time, he praised the willingness of the population to help: he felt a need to thank those who ‘show practical solidarity’. The left will also organize its own fundraising. ‘In the moment of need, everyone must stand together.’
1:25 p.m.: Seehofer calls criticism of disaster control ‘cheap campaign rhetoric’
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) defended disaster control after the storm disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia. Some of the criticism currently being expressed can be attributed to ‘very cheap campaign rhetoric’, said Seehofer during a visit to the Steinbachtalbrücke in Euskirchen. This is almost shabby.
Seehofer also announced that after the acute crisis situation had been dealt with, the disaster control processes would be processed. He himself has ‘the greatest interest’ in it. ‘But now these days the population has an interest in aid and solidarity.’ Seehofer said that the reporting channels around the storm disaster had worked after his information from the federal government. At the level of the federal states, he does not want to interfere.
1:01 p.m.: Experts call for a center for crisis management
In view of the floods, fire service experts have called for a research center for crisis management. The President of the German Fire Brigade Association, Karl-Heinz Banse, and his colleague Dirk Aschenbrenner from the Association for the Promotion of German Fire Protection on a visit to Erftstadt said there was no institution that could develop solutions for future challenges and make them available much faster than before (North Rhine-Westphalia).
12.27 p.m.: Klöckner: Flood aid must also benefit agriculture
Federal Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner insists that flood aid should also benefit agriculture after the flood disaster. According to the first impressions, the damage to agricultural land, buildings and infrastructure in the affected areas was ‘partially threatening the very existence’, said the Ministry of Agriculture. For example, grain stocks were completely destroyed in many places, entire animal populations drowned and facilities of wineries and winegrowers’ cooperatives were completely destroyed. The federal cabinet will discuss the emergency aid from the federal government next Wednesday.
12.25 p.m.: Laschet: Dam break at Steinbachtalsperre prevented
The situation has eased at the Steinbach dam in Euskirchen, which is threatened by a dam burst. A break could have been prevented at this point, said North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) directly at the dam.
The CDU federal chairman and Union chancellor candidate visited together with Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) the place where work has been carried out for days against a devastating dam breach. Laschet praised the help of the federal government. There is now a chance ‘that the situation will finally relax’. Close cooperation between the local fire brigades, the two districts, the Technical Relief Agency (THW) and the Bundeswehr made it possible to prevent a dam break at this point.
12.16 p.m.: ZF plant damaged by floods – production fails for the time being
In a flood-devastated factory of the automotive supplier ZF in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate, no resumption of production is in sight for the time being. A few days after the flood disaster, it was still not possible to provide any information on the duration of the production interruption, especially since the extent of the damage was still not foreseeable, said a spokesman for the group with headquarters in Friedrichshafen on request.
11.52 a.m.: Evacuations at Steinbachtalsperre near Euskirchen canceled
After the storm in western Germany, the situation at the Steinbachtalsperre has stabilized. The water level had been lowered far enough, the evacuations of the places below the dam could be ended, said the Cologne district government in the morning. ‘There is no longer any need to fear a dam break.’
According to the Cologne district government, the authorities in the responsible Rhein-Sieg district are to organize a ‘regulated return’ for the residents of the communities of Swisttal and Rheinbach, which have been evacuated as a precaution. The district said on Monday morning that, according to expert assessment, an ‘uncritical water level’ had been reached.
11.41 a.m.: FDP requests a special session on disaster relief and alarm chains
The FDP parliamentary group has requested a short-term special meeting of the interior committee because of the storm disaster. It should be about the situation in the flood areas, procedures of the warning and alerting procedures in the past week and the conclusions of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) and the federal government. This is what it says in a letter that was available to the German Press Agency in Berlin.
11.36 a.m.: Construction companies want to provide rapid crisis relief with devices and machines
After the storm disaster in western Germany, the construction industry says it is ready for rapid crisis relief. It must now be a matter of ‘joining forces to create shelters for the people whose houses and apartments have become uninhabitable,’ said the President of the Central Association of the German Construction Industry, Reinhard Quast. It is also about making roads and bridges usable for aid transports and rescue vehicles.
11.35 a.m.: After the floods: Oil and diesel pollute the waters in NRW
With the floods comes the dirt: The State Environment Agency (LANUV) in North Rhine-Westphalia expects that oil, diesel and other pollutants will enter the waters as a result of the floods. The first oil streaks were found on the Rhine near Bad Honnef as early as Thursday morning. ‘People have already reported that there is a smell and streaks on the water,’ said a spokeswoman for the LANUV.
Heating oil tanks in basements had been flooded, pipes torn open and fuel leaked from the washed away cars, said the spokeswoman. Therefore, in the next few days, oil and diesel must be expected in the water.
11:23 a.m.: Mayor of Simbach: Storm warnings are always difficult
Klaus Schmid, Mayor of Simbach am Inn, which was devastated by a flood five years ago, sees the current criticism of disaster control with mixed feelings. ‘I don’t think civil protection has failed. It is a very, very difficult thing to get the warnings on time, ‘said the CSU local politician to the German press agency. ‘These are events that come at very short notice. It is also dangerous to issue pre-warnings that will upset the population. ‘ People would have to accept the warnings too.
11:05 a.m.: Disaster control office sees problem in dealing with warnings
The Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid (BBK) sees the problem after the flood disaster, especially in western Germany, less in the weaknesses of the state warning system than in dealing with the warnings from local authorities and the population. ‘The warning infrastructure was not our problem, but the question of how sensitively the authorities and the population react,’ said BBK President Armin Schuster on Deutschlandfunk.
This is also due to the fact that there have never been any disaster situations of this magnitude, said Schuster. The entire warning infrastructure itself, on the other hand, ‘worked completely’, he emphasized. This applies to the alarm chains and the forecasts of the German Weather Service were ‘pretty good’. Around 150 warning messages were sent between Wednesday and Saturday.
11.02 a.m.: Cellular network in flood areas is still patchy
After the extreme storms in southwest Germany last week, the mobile network in the affected areas is still patchy. The largest German mobile operator Vodafone stated that a sixth of the radio stations were still cut off from the network. Many locations were severely damaged or completely destroyed by the flood. Vodafone said it was hopeful that basic services could be restored in the entire disaster area this week.
10.07 a.m.: Passau fire brigade rescues rubber dinghy drivers from floods on the Danube
When the Danube floods near Passau, two dinghy drivers were rescued in a dramatic rescue operation. The men had drifted away with their boats and capsized the previous evening, a spokesman for the water police said in the morning. According to the fire department, the men were able to cling to driftwood. It got caught on the bank of the uninhabited Danube island Soldierau, which already belongs to Austria. The fire brigade was nearby because of the flood and was able to save the two in time with a boat. The action of the dinghy drivers was not a good idea, said a police spokesman. ‘That is life-threatening.’
9.43 a.m.: ‘Uncritical water level in Steinbachtalsperre’: evacuation over
According to the Rhein-Sieg district, the level of the Steinbachtalsperre, which has been threatened by floods for days, has ‘reached an uncritical level’. The district announced that there was no longer any acute danger that the dam could break. ‘This means that the evacuation measures for Swisttal and Rheinbach can be lifted.’
9.40 a.m.: Federal Office chief: ‘We want the good old siren back’
According to the President of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, Armin Schuster, sirens play an important role in the warning of disasters. A warning mix of different methods is needed, purely digital warnings are not the right way, he said on Deutschlandfunk. ‘And that’s why we want the good old siren back.’ With a funding program of 90 million euros, sirens are to be reinstalled ‘in the right places’ together with the federal states. ‘The 90 million will not be enough for that. We’ll need more money, ‘said Schuster. It won’t be quick. ‘This is a project for several years.’
9.39 a.m.: Mayor of Altenahr expects months of emergency supply with water and electricity
The mayor of the Altenahr community in Rhineland-Palatinate, which was hard hit by the storm, fears that the drinking water supply there will be restricted for a long time. ‘It looks as if the infrastructure has been so badly destroyed that there may be no drinking water in some places for weeks or even months,’ said the non-party Cornelia Weigand on Sunday evening on the program ‘Bild live’.
It is therefore very important to be able to guarantee an emergency water supply ‘for months if necessary’. This also applies to an emergency power supply in some places. You could not foresee when it would be normal again in Altenahr, said Weigand.
9.27 a.m.: The number of flood deaths in the Ahrweiler district rose to 117
The death toll after the devastating floods in the Ahrweiler district (Rhineland-Palatinate) has risen to 117. In addition, at least 749 people were injured, said a police spokeswoman in Koblenz. It is still unclear how many people are still missing. On Sunday, the number of flood deaths in Rhineland-Palatinate was given as 110.
8.29 a.m.: Söder: Climate protection is a question of common sense
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) has again called for more efforts to protect the climate after the storm in Germany. This is not an ideological question, but one of reason, said Söder in the ARD ‘Morgenmagazin’. In the case of heavy rain events like those in Berchtesgadener Land on the weekend, there is no longer any possibility of planning. ‘We need a climate change,’ said Söder. He pleaded for ‘climate adaptation now’, as well as climate protection and precaution. For Wednesday he announced a government statement on the subject.
8.09 a.m.: Fire brigade: The dam of the Steinbachtalsperre withstood
The dam on the Steinbachtalsperre in North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been threatened for days, withstood the water masses until morning. The Euskirchen fire brigade countered rumors that the dam had broken. In fact, no cracks were found during a control flight of a Federal Police helicopter. ‘Water will continue to be pumped out and drained,’ said a fire department spokesman for the German Press Agency in Düsseldorf. A final expert assessment in the morning should show whether the water level is already beyond the critical mark.
8 a.m .: The edge in Erftstadt continues to be risky after a severe weather catastrophe
In Erftstadt, which has been particularly badly damaged by the floods, the edge of the edge continues to be a risk. Although the gravel pit behind the Blessem district is largely cordoned off, said the mayor of the North Rhine-Westphalian community, Carolin Weitzel, in the morning magazine of WDR 2. ‘However, further slipping of earth is possible at any time.’ The affected districts would be permanently monitored with drones.
Geological investigations were carried out at the same time. ‘As soon as the location is classified as accessible, the statics will begin to be checked,’ said Weitzel. In the Blessem district, there is an acute danger to life near the edge of the demolition.
7.45 a.m.: Baerbock on floods: ‘It makes your heart contract’
The Chancellor candidate of the Greens, Annalena Baerbock, has called for better preparation for upcoming extreme weather events after a visit to the flood disaster area. ‘The situation is still highly dramatic. People have lost everything, some are still missing, ‘said Baerbock in a’ Spiegel ‘interview published in the morning. ‘Helpers in Rhineland-Palatinate told me about families who stayed on the roof for days until the rescuers finally came. Your heart contracts. We have to arm ourselves better against such extreme weather events in order to protect people. ‘
7.42 a.m.: Flood situation in Bavaria relaxes a bit
The situation in the flood areas in the south and east of Bavaria has eased somewhat. In Passau the level of the Danube in the early morning was 8.18 meters and thus below the highest flood warning level of 8.5 meters. Fortunately, one is still far from catastrophic conditions, said a police spokesman in Passau on Monday.
Even in the Berchtesgadener Land, which was particularly badly hit by storms, people could breathe a sigh of relief. ‘The night passed quietly,’ said the fire department. The helpers are now busy with cleaning up. The weather outlook also gives cause for hope. Except for a few short showers, it should stay dry in the coming days. Storms are currently not in sight, said a meteorologist from the German Weather Service (DWD).
5.15 a.m.: DOSB boss Hörmann on flood disaster: ‘New low blow’
In the opinion of DOSB President Alfons Hörmann, sport has also been severely affected by the recent storms and flood disasters in western Germany and Bavaria. ‘Right now, when sport is doing better again in the corona crisis, this is a new low blow. A very serious setback, ‘said the head of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) of the German Press Agency.
‘We’re definitely talking about damage in excess of 100 million. You don’t have to be a prophet when you see the pictures, ‘said the 60-year-old in Frankfurt / Main on the sidelines of the departure of the German team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That goes from soccer fields to sports halls and other facilities. ‘At the moment one can only encourage those affected.’
4.30 a.m.: Flood issue at the EU Agricultural Council in Brussels
In view of the images of suffering, loss and damage in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany will inform the other EU countries about the current situation in the affected regions at a meeting of agriculture ministers in Brussels. The Ministry of Agriculture said that on Monday it will be discussed to what extent farmers are affected and how they have provided help with tractors and other equipment. The concrete extent of the damage – also for farmers – is not yet foreseeable.
2.31 a.m.: County council rejects the centralization of disaster control
Against the background of the severe weather disaster, the German District Association has spoken out against the centralization of disaster control. ‘We should not take this extraordinary event as an opportunity to fundamentally question the system of disaster control or to demand a shift of operational powers from the districts and cities to the federal government,’ said district assembly president Reinhard Sager of the Düsseldorf ‘Rheinische Post’.
2 a.m.: Flood disaster: FDP speaks of ‘system failure’
The FDP has accused Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) of serious failures in civil protection in view of the consequences of the flood. ‘The timely warnings of the meteorologists have not been adequately communicated to the citizens either by the authorities or by public service broadcasters,’ said Michael Theurer of the German press agency’s parliamentary group. ‘The picture is of a major system failure for which the Federal Minister of the Interior Seehofer bears direct personal responsibility.’
1.04 a.m.: Flood aid in Bavaria should come quickly and unbureaucratically
The Bavarian Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, has promised quick help for those affected by the floods in the south and east of Bavaria. The Bavarian cabinet will decide on Tuesday what help could look like, said the CSU politician in an interview with the ‘BR24 Rundschau’. There should also be help from the federal government. ‘We will not leave these people there alone,’ emphasized Herrmann. It is about rebuilding roads and bridges as quickly as possible, but also helping affected families. ‘That will have to be done very quickly and unbureaucratically,’ the interior minister made clear.