IN PICTURES: The aftermath of Germany’s catastrophic floods

IN PICTURES: The aftermath of Germany's catastrophic floods
Helpers survey the damage in front of a collapsed house in the village of Schuld in Ahrtal. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey
Towns and villages across Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were left devastated by shocking flash floods that destroyed homes, streets and historical landmarks and took the lives of more than 160 people.

As the nation tried to process the horror of the natural disaster, pictures emerged of rubble-filled landscape and deserted village streets piled high with furniture and personal belongings. 

The district of Ahrweiler, in the northern part of Rhineland-Palatinate, was one of the areas to be worst hit by floods. Houses were destroyed and tens of thousands of people were left without electricity or running water. 

On Sunday, the streets of the villages and towns in the district were still waterlogged, while in Bad Neuenahr, the historic Kurshaus, which was built in 1905, was devastated by the floods. 


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

Pictures emerged of the hallways of the Kurhaus covered with mud, water and grime on Sunday afternoon, while entryways were blocked by piles of shattered furniture.


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

Broken furniture, electrical equipment and rusty bicycles were cleared to the side of the road to make space for emergency aid vehicles.  


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

In nearby Sinzig, 12 people lost their lives at a care home for the disabled (the Lebenshilfe-Haus) during the floods. 


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

Sinzig’s Barbarossa School was uninhabitable on Monday, as furniture lay in tatters on the floor. 


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

In the historic industrial town of Stolberg, North-Rhine Westphalia, the town archives were completely flooded. 


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marius Becker

In Altenahr, just to the west of Bad Neuenahr, smashed-up camper vans, cars and mobile homes were pictured lying on top of each other. In the worst-hit flooded areas, the force of the tide had swept up numerous vehicles and crushed them against bridges and buildings in seconds.


Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

Chancellor Merkel visited the village of Schuld in Rhineland-Palatinate on Sunday and was pictured holding the hand of state premier Malu Dreyer (SPD), who lives with MS, as they walked through the wreckage. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s Merkel sees ‘surreal’ wreckage as Europe flood death toll tops 180

Photo: picture alliance/dpa/POOL AFP | Christof Stache
 
While they were there, Merkel and Dreyer spoke to the victims of the floods and surveyed the extent of the damage to homes, infrastructure and the natural landscape.
 

Photo: picture alliance/dpa/POOL AFP | Christof Stache
They also spoke to volunteers who had been on-call throughout the emergency, and who were helping to clean up the wreckage in the aftermath of the disaster. 
 

Photo: picture alliance/dpa/POOL AFP | Christof Stache
 

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