In Beppenster, Belgium, a house collapsed in the middle of an interview with Philippe Godin, the town’s mayor, due to rising waters after torrential rains have hit the country since Wednesday.
The pictures are striking. On Thursday evening, after heavy rain hit Belgium, Philippe Godin, mayor of Pepinster, one of the worst-hit cities, spoke on VTM TV.
In the middle of the interview, when we saw great floods behind him, a house gradually collapsed, and many pieces of furniture and personal items spat into the raging waters. The population is still there. They can be seen taking refuge on the roof and then trying to reach the adjacent dwelling.
At the same time, in this neighborhood, dozens of other residents took refuge on the roofs of their homes. Relief operations are still going on Friday morning in order to rescue them.
According to Philip Godin, about two dozen homes in Pepinster have collapsed, like the one filmed live.
“We have 10 dead and about 10 people we haven’t heard from,” he told AFP.
The government announced Friday that the “unprecedented” floods that have swept part of Belgium since Wednesday have left at least 20 people dead, and a day of national mourning will be celebrated on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo said he feared the losses would worsen. About 20 people are still missing.
“In many places, the situation is still very critical,” the Flemish liberal leader said at a press conference. “We are still waiting for the final outcome, but these floods may be the most catastrophic our country has ever known,” he said.
“These are completely exceptional circumstances and unprecedented in our country,” he added, and welcomed the mobilization of neighboring countries to help the Belgian rescuers.
The province of Liège, in the east of the country, is the hardest hit by the floods and most relief operations are concentrated. The municipalities of Ververs and Beppenster alone have recorded at least ten deaths.
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