The rainfall caused major rivers to burst their banks and flood the surrounding regions: Flood waters have washed away buildings and cars in some cases.
In addition to the confirmed dead, between 50 and 70 people are missing, according to German newspaper BILD.
Police and military have mobilized to help stranded residents, many of whom wait on their rooftops for rescue. Police have deployed inflatable boats and helicopters to assist in rescue operations.
Neighboring Belgium and the Netherlands have suffered as well: A Belgian report said four people have died, and many homes in Holland have suffered damage as residents evacuated, the BBC reported.
The mayor of Liege, Belgium’s third-largest city, urged residents to evacuate, and those unable to do so should move to the upper floors of their buildings.
Armin Laschet, the premier of North Rhine-Westphalia, blamed the disaster on global warming, warning that the country can expect “such events over and over.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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