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Storms Leave Nine Dead, Dozens Missing In Germany

Heavy rains and floods lashing western Germany have killed at least nine people and left around 50 missing, as rising waters led several houses to collapse, police said Thursday.

Four of the people reported dead were in the municipality of Schuld where several houses were swept away by floods, a police spokesman in the city of Koblenz told AFP.

Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia states were the worst hit by the storms which have caused rivers to burst their banks and threatened to bring down further homes.

Emergency workers struggled to evacuate people in endangered buildings and two firemen were killed in the line of duty in the towns of Altena and Wedohl.

Two men died in flooded cellars in nearby Solingen and Unna while a further death was reported in Rheinbach.

Police set up a crisis hotline for people to report missing loved ones and residents were asked to send in videos and photos that could help them in the search.

Rescue workers deployed in helicopters to pluck desperate people off streets and rooftops.

Regional official Juergen Pfoehleer called on people to stay home “and, if possible, go to higher floors” of their homes.

“The situation is very serious,” he said.

afp

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