Rescue efforts as death toll rises in Germany floods — live updates Over 130 people have died in western Germany, as thousands of emergency workers continue rescue and repair efforts throughout the region.

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   A view of devastated area after a severe rainstorm and flash floods hit western states of Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia
Cars were lifted from the road when the severe rainstorm and flash floods hit
  • More than 130 people have been reported dead across western Germany, and 150 in total across Europe

  • Over 600 people have been reported injured

  • 850 Bundeswehr soldiers have been deployed to assist with disaster relief

  • President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit the flooded regions of North Rhine-Westphalia later in the day

  • The worst hit regions are in western Germany around the borders to the Benelux countries

Rescuers continue search in village with sinkhole

Rescue crews are continuing the search for people missing in the western German village of Erfstadt-Blessem, the site of a massive sinkhole caused by the floods. No bodies have been found yet, and there are no reliable figures on how many people are still missing.

“We assume several deaths, but do not know,” said the North Rhine-Westphalian Interior Minister Herbert Reul on Friday in Düsseldorf.

At least three residential buildings and part of a historic castle collapsed in the area. Water levels have dropped in other parts of the area, a district spokesperson said on Saturday.

 German floods leave many without homes, electricity

Death toll above 130

The official death toll has risen to 133, with 43 confirmed in North Rhine Westphalia and 150 confirmed in total across Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

At least 90 of the deaths in Germany were in the Ahrweiler district south of Cologne, and officials believe that figure is due to rise as rescue efforts continue. Police said they had received reports of over 618 injuries.

Steinmeier to visit affected district

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit an affected district in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. He will visit along with state premier Armin Laschet, who is in the running to replace Angela Merkel as chancellor in the fall. He is expected in the Rhein-Erft district and is then due to join Laschet in a visit to Erftstadt, where numerous houses and cars were washed away in recent days.

In Erftstadt-Blessem, several buildings and parts of a historic castle were destroyed due to a sink hole and major landslides. State Interior Minister Herbert Reul said on Friday evening it was assumed several people in Erftstadt had died but the situation was not yet clear.

Thousands of emergency workers are still in the Eifel region, where the flood devastated entire towns and flattened homes on Thursday night.  Damaged power and telephone lines and interruptions to mobile phone services have made it harder to locate people and carry out rescue services.

Initial forecasts for Rhineland Palatinate showed the danger of flooding had fallen, although warnings remained in place around the Ahr river and the tributaries of the lower Sauer.