Authorities said the number of deaths was at 81 in the morning of 16 July. Because many people are still missing, the exact number of victims is not yet known, and it is feared that the number will continue to rise.
Hundreds of houses were damaged in the Trier-Saarburg district. The damage ranged from flooded basements to the loss of entire homes and public buildings such as a sewage treatment plant, said a spokesman for the district.
German insurance industry association GDV plans to give its first estimate of the damage next week. The overall damage could be considerably higher than the insured damage as the industry says only around 45 per cent of buildings are insured against floods and heavy rain.
Mitigation measures have a significant influence on damage control
Matthew Longbottom, Senior Global PR Manager at Risk Management Solutions, commented: “As of today, floods have caused devastating and deadly impacts in villages and small cities situated upon minor rivers, as evidenced by the terrible images coming from Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. On a more worrying note, the final financial and human impact of these floods are yet unknown as floodwaters are expected to rise further over the coming days, potentially near cities with greater populations.
“As devastating as the effects already have been, it is important to note that in the wake of past floods, mitigation measures have been implemented across Europe and their performance will have significant influence on how much damage the current floods will cause. The flooding recorded to date would have covered a much more widespread area and caused far more damage than we've already seen, if it were not for these measures already in place.”