Belgium raises flood death toll to 37, further six missing

Aftermath of heavy rainfalls in Belgium
FILE PHOTO: Rescuers search for victims in a car after heavy rainfall in Trooz, Belgium, July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

July 22, 2021

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgian authorities raised the death toll on Thursday from last week’s burst rivers and flash floods to 37, with a further six people missing.

Belgium’s crisis centre, which is coordinating the rescue and relief operation, raised the number of fatalities from a previous 32. It said police experts had so far identified 32 of the deceased.

In western Germany, floods killed at least 160 people.

The Belgian centre added that, of 473 people reported missing, there was still no trace of six.

“For some people there is a possible sign of life, but for others, there is unfortunately a very strong chance that they will be among the fatalities,” the centre said in a statement.

In Germany, more than 170 people died in last week’s flooding, the country’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century, and thousands were missing.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Giles Elgood)