Heavy rain leads to severe flooding and disruption in Limburg
Southern parts of the Netherlands - as well as parts of Germany and Belgium - have been suffering from intense rainfall, leading to severe flooding across the province of Limburg.
Code red weather warning for Limburg
On Wednesday, for the first time in its history, the Dutch weather institute (KNMI) issued a code red weather alert, warning the residents of Limburg that heavy rainfall was on the way. Some parts of the southernmost Dutch province have received over 100 millimetres of rain over the past two days - more than the province typically receives throughout the summer months.
The KNMI ended the code red warning at around 3.20 am on Thursday, warning, however, a code yellow alert remains in place for Limburg and much of the country. More rain is expected throughout the day on Thursday.
The heavy rain means local water levels are rising fast, and the river Meuse - which runs through Maastricht, Roermond, and Venlo - has risen sharply. The local Water Board expects levels to remain high for the coming days.
Flooding in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany
As of yet, there have been no major evacuations in Limburg, but the heavy rainfall has led to significant damage and extensive flooding across the province. Two care homes and a hospice in the popular holiday town of Valkenburg were evacuated on Wednesday night, and the local mayor has issued an emergency order for the area.
There have been power outages in Maastricht, leaving hundreds of homes without electricity. Local authorities have asked people to stay indoors as there is a risk of being swept away by the water. The A79 motorway has been flooded, and dozens of campsites have been forced to evacuate.
On Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Rutte promised the Dutch government would do everything it could to help those affected by the flooding. The flooding extends into Belgium and Germany. Thousands have been evacuated, and many houses are on the verge of collapse. At least 13 people have died, and many more are missing.
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