About 170 people are still unknown in the areas affected by catastrophic floods in western Germany, as announced by the police of the city of Koblenz, south of Cologne.
The death toll is expected to continue to rise. At least 160 people have been killed so far, and about 30,000 are still without power, according to energy company Eon.
Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer estimates the cost of reconstruction will amount to several billion euros. According to the Rheinische Post, citing government circles, there will be direct assistance from the federal and state governments, amounting to at least 400 million euros.
During his visit to the Steinbachtalsperre Dam in the Oeskirchen area of North Rhine-Westphalia, Zeehofer also stressed that considers the federal structure of disaster protection to be correct. However, the federal and state governments as well as local governments need to think together about the lessons to be learned from crisis management.
The German Fire Brigade has also called for a crisis management research center, as there is no institution that can develop solutions to (similar) future challenges.
The extent of the damage cannot yet be estimated. Many houses, company buildings, roads and bridges were destroyed. There is huge damage to 600 km of railway lines. Electricity and drinking water supply have been affected in as many areas as the mobile network.