More than 120 people were killed by devastating floods, the worst in decades in Western Europe.
Heavy rains that fell on Western Europe caused torrential floods from the rivers, which caused great devastation.
In Germany, where the number of victims exceeded 100, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a strict confrontation of the phenomenon of climate change.
According to reports from Belgium, 22 people died due to the severe weather, which politicians attributed to climate change.
Hundreds are still missing in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged full support for the victims.
Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, attributed the severe weather to climate change, during a visit to a disaster-stricken region.
He added, “We will face such events frequently, and this means that we must speed up measures aimed at protecting against the effects of climate change, as its climate impact is not limited to one country.”
Experts say they expect the effects of climate change to increase and their frequency, but linking a single event to climate change is complicated.
The regions of Arweiler and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany were the most affected by the severe weather, but Belgium and the Netherlands were also affected.
Floods also occurred in Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Hundreds of people are missing in the Arweiler region, according to German authorities. A local government spokeswoman said mobile phone networks had stopped working, making it impossible to communicate with people.
The traces of 1,300 people have disappeared in the province of Ahrwaler, western Germany, according to what the authorities said. A spokesman for the local authorities: It is impossible to contact the missing because of the disruption of the work of mobile phone networks.
Sheld village, with a population of 700, was completely destroyed. Weather forecast predicted strong rain in the region on Friday.
About 15,000 police, soldiers and rescue workers arrived in the area to assist in the search and rescue operations, while helicopters pulled the stranded people from the rooftops and tanks cleared the roads of rubble, broken trees and shrapnel.
Residents in the area told AFP that the disaster shocked them.
Anne-Marie Muller, 65, said: “No one expected this. Where did all this rain come from? This is crazy! There was a lot of commotion, and we felt like the doors were going to break.”
In the Netherlands, Valkenburg was one of the worst affected towns, where floods forced the authorities to evacuate some elderly homes.
Locals improvised building barricades against the floodwaters from plastic shopping bags they filled with sand. One bridge collapsed. Firefighters are pumping water from under the rubble to reach the gas pipelines to treat gas leakage from them.
No casualties have been reported in the Netherlands, but the authorities have asked thousands of residents in the affected villages and towns to leave their homes.
Ten thousand residents of the Dutch city of Maastricht were asked to leave their homes.
The German chancellor offered her condolences to all the people who lost loved ones during a day of anxiety and despair.
“I am afraid that we will only see the tragedy in its full dimensions in the coming days,” Merkel said.
She pledged government support for rescue and reconstruction efforts and addressed the German people, saying, “The government will not abandon you in these difficult times.”
In Belgium, footage of the floods showed razed cars in the city of Verviers.
Residents of Liege, the third largest city in Belgium, were instructed to leave their homes.
And the authorities asked those who could not leave to go to the highest area in their places of residence.
The water level in a river running through the city is expected to rise by 1.5 metres, although it is currently on the verge of flooding.
Officials expressed concern about the possibility of a dam collapse in the area, and urged residents to extend a helping hand as much as they could.
The local authority said in a statement that “the crisis situation is exceptional and requires solidarity.”
Belgian King Philippe visited an emergency center in Schudfontein, southeast of Liege.
In the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima inspected the damage in Falkenberg near the borders with Belgium and Germany, where the town center was besieged by floods and the authorities were forced to evacuate some homes for the elderly.
No casualties were reported, but authorities urged residents in villages and towns along the Meuse to leave their homes quickly.
In the Dutch city of Maastricht, 10,000 people were ordered to leave their homes.
“Reader. Infuriatingly humble travel enthusiast. Extreme food scholar. Writer. Communicator.”