ERFTSTADT, Germany/WASSENBERG, Germany (Reuters) -Rescue teams have searched parts of Germany and Belgium that have been devastated by floods this Saturday for survivors after rivers burst and floods this week destroyed homes and killed 170 people .
At least 143 people died in the flood in western Germany, the country’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century. This includes 98 in the Ahrweiler district, south of Cologne, according to police. Hundreds of people are still missing.
About 700 residents were driven from their homes late on Friday after a dam broke in the town of Wassenberg, near Cologne, officials said.
“Water levels have stabilized since last night, it is possible to say that the situation is stable,” said Wassenberg Mayor Marcel Maurer. “It’s too early to say we’re free, but we’re cautiously optimistic.”
In Belgium, the death toll has risen to 27, according to the national crisis center, which is coordinating the rescue operation.
“Unfortunately, we have to assume that this number will continue to grow in the coming hours and days,” the center said in a statement.
(By Petra Wischgoll and David Sahl)
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