00:53 GMT04 August 2021
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    The incident was caused by a massive flood that destroyed 6 houses and damaged 25 others in the Eifel municipality overnight, according to the broadcaster SWR.

    Six houses collapsed in the western German city of Schuld, Rheinland-Pfalz after heavy rains caused local rivers to break their banks, flooding the area. According to media reports, the death toll from the incident stands at 45 fatalities, while several dozen are missing.

    "There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed. We don't yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing", a police spokesperson said.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "shocked" by the disaster.

    "I am shocked by the disaster, which made so many people in the flood zones suffer. I offer my condolences to the relatives of the dead and missing. From the bottom of my heart, I thank our tireless rescuers and emergency personnel", a statement from Merkel read.

    The German authorities are urging people to stay at home during the emergency.

    Reports suggest that parts of the affected area are isolated by high waters and accessible only by air. The military had to be sent to the city of Hagen to clear some areas from debris amid the crisis. The regional capital Düsseldorf also had to evacuate one of its districts.

    Germany, collapse, collapse, building collapse, building collapse
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