A landslide occurred on Friday morning south of the major cities of Cologne and Düsseldorf.
How many victims there are is currently still completely unclear.
Erftstadt - A massive landslide devastated parts of Erftstadt in the south of North Rhine-Westphalia (click here for the news ticker).
According to the district administrator of the Rhein-Erft district, Frank Rock, the location southwest of the Rhine metropolis of Cologne is still very confusing.
As the CDU politician added to
, there is still no concrete number of fatalities or missing persons.
TV pictures show the dramatic extent of the flood disaster, numerous emergency services are on the lookout for possible victims, and auxiliary forces from the German armed forces are expected to provide help with heavy technical equipment in the near future.
Erftstadt floods: landslide and flood destroy residential buildings - location confusing
On Friday morning around 50 people were rescued by boats, but people also returned to houses that had already been evacuated on their own.
Later, the tide came very quickly, reports said.
Sinks were under water within ten minutes and there was hardly any time to warn people.
The flood situation in the Erftkreis (west of Cologne) is coming to a head.
Numerous houses have collapsed in Erft-Blessem.
© B & S / Bernd März / imago-images
“It's a catastrophic situation like we've never had here before,” says District Administrator Franck Rock, describing the events that seem apocalyptic.
Huge holes in the ground gape in the 50,000-inhabitant city of Erftstadt, houses have partially collapsed.
The small district of Blessem in particular was hit by the consequences of the dramatic landslide.
The responsible district government in Cologne announced that several fatalities were to be expected.
Floods in the Rhein-Erft district: residents were surprised by massive floods
In the village on the Erft, there had been massive and rapidly progressing washings of houses.
A spokeswoman for the district said people were trapped in cars on flooded streets.
Aerial photos and photos by dpa photographers distributed by the district government show landslides of enormous proportions.
Cars lay in newly created huge holes in the ground next to concrete parts of the former sewer system.
(PF with dpa)
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List of rubric lists: © B & S / Bernd März via www.imago-images.de