Torrential rains again cause serious damage in Belgium, flooding London streets and leading hospitals to transfer patients to other centers
Europe has been hostage to a climatic catastrophe for twelve days and has refused to give a truce. The torrential rains that in the middle of the month sowed devastation in the northwest of the continent and killed more than 200 people, the majority in Germany, have made themselves felt again. The especially dramatic deluge in London and Belgium this weekend gave way to chaos in a matter of minutes, with streets flooded, buses blocked, cars swept away, houses covered in mud and hospitals, such as Whipps Cross and Newham in the British capital. , who had to refer their patients to other centers when they saw how the torrent of water took over their emergency rooms. Fortunately, this time there were no fatalities.
“We are still here if you need us, but to help us while we fix things, if possible, go to another neighboring hospital,” Newham officials asked on social media on Sunday, while at Whipps Cross they admitted “operational problems due to the heavy rains »that prevented them from functioning normally. The situation was not better in houses, roads and stations from where the population tried to contact the London Fire Brigade, who received in a few minutes about 300 calls, according to the BBC.
The typical scene that the characteristic red double-decker buses of the British capital offer daily to visitors was also suddenly replaced by another in which they were blocked by the waters. In the south of the city, the police had to close a completely flooded street to traffic, as well as several stations. Meanwhile, in areas such as Hackney, Stratford or Newham dozens of cars were dragged, as could be seen in images that stunned pedestrians shared on the Internet.
In Belgium, where the floods of July 14 and 15 caused 36 deaths, seven missing and extensive damage, especially in the towns of Liège and Verviers, the drama was repeated on Saturday night. Although the storms hit the southern region of Wallonia again, the worst part was taken this time by Namur and, above all, Dinant. «In less than 20 minutes, the water fell. It became a torrent and took all the cars, “Pierre Coleau, one of its residents, told local media. “The water entered my living room and my basement. It destroyed everything, everything was swept away, “added Andy Martínez, another neighbor.
In Dinant, where several streets were still closed to traffic on Sunday, its inhabitants were busy cleaning up the damage yesterday, as in Namur, where the river overflowed with rainfall of between 36 and 54 liters per square meter. Once again the images of Belgian families draining water from their houses, removing mud and mud and disposing of a large part of their belongings when they were rendered unusable occurred for the second time in less two weeks. Deployed by the Government, the Army collaborated in these tasks to avoid the neglect that provoked criticism days ago.
Although to a lesser degree, the Swiss canton of Lucerne also suffered damage over the weekend due to rains that were accompanied by hail and more than 35,000 lightning strikes. The threat of new floods, as the meteorological services warn, has not disappeared. Rainfall is expected in the coming days. In fact, Wallonia is on a yellow alert for the possibility of strong storms again.