30 people missing after houses collapse during severe floods in Germany – report

Thirty people are missing following the collapse of six homes after heavy rain triggered severe flooding in western Germany, according to a local media report.

The properties collapsed last night in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, broadcaster SWR said, citing police.

Around 25 more houses are in danger of collapsing in the district of Schuld bei Adenau in the hilly Eiffel region, it added.

Two firefighters drowned and the army was deployed to help stranded residents on Wednesday.

The report described the situation in the rural district of Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prum as “extremely dangerous”.

A spokesman for the district told the broadcaster a family-of-five were stranded in a property completely surrounded by water.

Homes have been evacuated in areas within a 50 metre radius of the Ahr river.

Some residents in Altenahr have been spotted climbing on to the roofs of their homes waiting to be rescued by air, SWR said.

Rescuers have become trapped themselves in some parts, due to the strong current of the floodwater.

It comes after the German Weather Service issued an extreme weather warning for parts of three western states.

Hagen, a city of 180,000, declared a state of emergency after the Volme river burst its banks.

The deluge of rain and flooding has disrupted rail, road and river transport, with shipping suspended on the Rhine river.

Further heavy rainstorms are expected to hit southwestern Germany today, and could continue until Friday night, forecasters warned.

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