Since July 12, 2021, Europe has been battling flash floods. Thousands have perished, long-standing properties have been washed away, and as far as the sight goes, there are visions of destruction. Dear Lord, was the pandemic not enough?
To review the damage, German Chancellor Angella Merkel dropped by some of the affected areas recently, and needless to say, she was shocked beyond her wildest thoughts. The death toll and the number of missing people terrified her to the very core.
Glimpses from Merkel’s visit
On Sunday, July 18, 2021, Merkel visited the flood-hit areas in western Germany. She spoke to the survivors and emergency workers to find out how the rescue operations were going.
But when she saw the condition of the areas with her own eyes, she was devastated. Around 188 people in Germany and Belgium lost their lives in the floods, and many more will die if heavy rains didn't stop in other parts of the continent. Recently, rains moved from western Germany to southern Germany and parts of Austria and wreaked havoc there too.
Emergency crews have had to step in and rescue people from their homes in Salzburg (Austria), where floodwater has swamped the roads. The fire brigade revealed that the situation in the capital of Austria was even more concerning. On Saturday, Vienna witnessed more rainfall in an hour than it had seen in the previous seven weeks! The heavy rains didn't spare the people in the Upper Bavaria region either. They claimed a life there too.
When randomly questioned what they thought the reason behind the floods was, many European leaders responded with climate change. Merkel, too, believed in their notion.
The 67-year-old said that until we fight climate change, things like this will continue to happen. While walking through the village of Schuld, Merkel told people that she would fast-track the aid for reconstruction. She assured them that the government would stand by them at every step. She continued that though she had no words to describe the damage, if there was one good thing around, it was people's love and support for each other. The way people helped each other was very comforting to the eyes. They showed what humanity stands for.
How much money will Germany invest in reconstructions?
On the one hand, where Merkel talked to people about their problems, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz disclosed the relief amount that he planned to propose in the cabinet. Scholz said that on Wednesday, he would propose a package of €300m as an aid for reconstruction in the cabinet meeting.
Only time will tell if money alone would be enough to bring back Germany to its former glory.