More than 1,300 people were unaccounted for late Thursday after fierce floods ripped through several countries Western Europe.

Record rainfall sent floodwaters bursting from overwhelmed rivers into streets, leveling buildings and washing away cars in its brutal currents.

Germany and Belgium appeared to be the hardest hit countries, with heavy flooding also hitting the Netherlands and elsewhere, reports said.

At least 60 people are dead, including nine residents of an assisted living facility and two firefighters involved in rescue operations, The Associated Press reported.

“I grieve for those who have lost their lives in this disaster,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a White House visit. “I fear the full extent of this tragedy will only be seen in the coming days.”

There were 20 people reported dead in the city of Cologne alone, news source DPA stated.

Residents of the German town of Schuld were left assessing damage as local infrastructure was ravaged after days of downpours.

People with their belongings leave a flooded Belgium town.
People with their belongings leave a flooded Belgium town.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Germany and Belgium have been two of the hardest hit countries.
Germany and Belgium have been two of the hardest-hit countries.
Jonas Güttler/picture alliance via Getty Images
The dam wall of the Steinbach reservoir lies in fog.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country does not yet know the full scale of the damage and death toll.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty I

“I saw the pizza store getting flooded, half an hour later the bakery was flooded,” Kalus Radermacher told Reuters. “There is a camping ground up there, so caravans and camper vans came floating past, gas tanks. We were powerless against it. It came so fast, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Rescuers in inflatable boats helped people stranded on the roofs of their homes, the AP stated.

The hard-hit district of Ahrweiler, where the Ahr River flooded its banks, reported 1,300 people unaccounted for. Some 18 people were confirmed dead in the district alone, officials said.

The almost flooded Belle-Ile bridge and the damage in Liege.
The almost flooded Belle-Ile bridge and some of the damage in Liege.
BELGA/AFP via Getty Images
15 July 2021, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler: Destroyed cars lie at the roadside in Bad Neuenahr. Heavy rain caused extreme flooding.
Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler has seen some of the worst of the extreme storm.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty I
A damaged car and bicycles are pictured in a muddy street in Ahrweiler-Bad Neuenahr.
A damaged car and bicycles in a muddy street in Ahrweiler-Bad Neuenahr.
AFP via Getty Images

Resident Michael Ahrend said he was totally surprised, even though he expected water “would come in here” one day.

“This isn’t a war – it’s simply nature hitting out,” Ahrend told Reuters. “Finally, we should start paying attention to it.”

With Post wires



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