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At least 67 dead in Germany, Belgium as storms ravage Europe

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Heavy rains and floods lashing western Europe have killed at least 59 people in Germany and eight in Belgium, and many more people are missing as rising waters caused several houses to collapse on Thursday.

Unusually heavy rains also inundated neighbouring Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, where at least four people were reported dead and people were ordered to evacuate a riverbank in one city.

In Germany, which is experiencing one of the worst weather disasters since World War II, desperate residents sought refuge on the roofs of their homes as rescue helicopters circled above.

Pensioner Annemarie Mueller, 65, looking out at her flooded garden and garage from her balcony, said her town of Mayen had been completely unprepared for the destruction.

“Where did all this rain come from? It’s crazy,” she told AFP, recalling the floodwater crashing through her street during the night.

“It made such a loud noise and given how fast it came down, we thought it would break the door down.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a visit to Washington, said she was “shocked” by the humanitarian “disaster”, calling it a “tragedy” for the nation.

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