At least nine people were pronounced dead while 30 others are still missing as heavy rainstorms hit southwestern Germany.
Six houses collapsed during the severe floods and torrential rains, causing massive property damage and triggering mass evacuations.
25 more houses are in danger of caving in the small southwestern German town of Schuld , local police said on Thursday.
“We currently have an unclear number of people on roofs who need to be rescued,” a spokesperson for the Koblenz police said. Reports suggest about 50 people have been trapped on roofs to escape the flooding.
“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed. We do not yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing,” the spokesperson said.
“The situation is very serious, we have many flooded roads and villages that are no longer accessible,” District Administrator Julia Gieseking said from the town of Daun late Wednesday.
She said the state of emergency would allow the military to join relief efforts.
The German Army sent over 230 soldiers and heavy machinery to help clear streets affected by flooding.
Germany’s Weather Service warned that southwestern parts of the country could expect more heavy rainstorms throughout the day, with steady rain until Friday evening.
“We haven’t seen a disaster like this. It’s just devastating,” Rhineland-Palatinate’s state premier Malu Dreyer told the regional parliament, which held a minute’s silence for those affected by the floods.
“There are dead, there are missing, there are many who are still in danger,” she said.