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before and after.  Satellite images reveal the true extent of the destruction caused to the Ahr River

before and after. Satellite images reveal the true extent of the destruction caused to the Ahr River

The Ahrwailer region of the Rhineland-Palatinate recorded the largest number of victims – more than a hundred. It is also the village of Schuld on the Ahr, which flows through the Eifel heights. Its population was 660. Many were killed. The rising water level destroyed the village and the army had to intervene with an armored personnel carrier. The roads were impassable. The local store was also destroyed, the water destroyed the glass panels and the cash register washed away.

Should lay at a bend in the river in a picturesque valley, but the water found a shortcut – it flowed straight through the village and washed away everything that stood in its way, completely washing away many houses.

Ali Topalci had a pizzeria in the village. He told Die Zeit, “It was all gone. He spent the night on the first floor, but was afraid to stay. He came to the roof by the window and saw the water taking up the neighboring houses. However, he was saved only the next day by a long staircase.”

Antweiler Center before the Flood

Photo: Maxar Technologies, Reuters

Antweiler after the flood

Photo: Maxar Technologies, Reuters

Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Schuld on Sunday. However, not everyone was excited about this, as was the case with 62-year-old Carly Goodell, who came to help remove mud from cologne. “Well, it’s an election campaign, so it has to show,” Goodell said, helping scrape the mud where cheap lunches sold until recently. The advisor of the affected region promised assistance from the federal budget and expressed appreciation for the solidarity of the people.

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Not many knew about Merkel’s visit, because there is no Internet in the area, mobile phone networks are still faltering, and most importantly, there is a shortage of electricity.

Refund of billions of euros

Finance Minister Olaf Schulz said he would present a draft package of immediate aid amounting to more than 300 million euros at the government meeting on Wednesday. He added that billions of euros are needed for a comprehensive recovery.

It was also destroyed near the village of Antwiler, where less than five hundred people live. Even in it, most homes were damaged and lawns turned into brown areas of mud.

Floods destroyed the city of Lyers

Photo: Steve Wood, CTK/AP

There were 11,000 people living in the entire area between Lierse and Dernau. Mayor Cornelia Wijnad, who heads the Federation of Municipalities, said some places are unrecognizable. The entire infrastructure was destroyed. The water level rose to a height of six to six metres, Wigan said, during floods in 2016 reaching 3.7 metres.