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Rhineland-Palatinate. Photo: Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images

At least 184 people have died in Germany and Belgium amid a rare flood event that has devastated the region, Reuters reported on Sunday.

The latest: At least 157 have died in Germany and, in Belgium, the death toll stood at 27, as of Sunday morning.

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised financial aid for the disaster sites. The German government is said to be readying more than $354 million in relief, per Reuters.
  • By Saturday, most of those who were listed as missing had been accounted for. Now, receding floodwaters throughout the region are revealing the breadth of the damage.
  • Thousands of people remain homeless after their houses were destroyed by the flooding or deemed at-risk by authorities.
  • Police warned of a potential risk from downed power lines and urged visitors to stay away in the Ahrweiler district in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany.

What they're saying: "A lot of people have lost everything they spent their lives building up — their possessions, their home, the roof over their heads," said German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "Many people here in these regions have nothing left but their hope, and we must not disappoint this hope," he said.

  • During a visit with President Biden on Thursday Chancellor Angela Merkel said "the full extent of this tragedy will only be seen in the coming days."
  • "It is terrifying," Merkel said, per Reuters. "The German language can barely describe the devastation that's taken place."

The big picture: Flash floods this week followed days of heavy rainfall, which caused rivers and reservoirs to burst through their banks.

  • The rainfall amounts had around a 1% chance of occurring in an individual year, making it a 100-year rainstorm.

Between the lines: Scientists are analyzing the rainfall for more precise calculations and to determine the role that global warming played in this disaster, but studies have shown climate change increases the odds of and severity of extreme precipitation events.

Editor's note: This story has been updated as more news becomes available.

Go deeper

Sep 10, 2021 - World

Russia's Gazprom says Nord Stream 2 pipeline is complete

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

Construction was officially completed Friday on the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will allow Russia to bypass Ukraine in delivering natural gas directly to the heart of Europe, according to Russian energy giant Gazprom.

Why it matters: The $11 billion pipeline has been condemned as a "Kremlin geopolitical project" by the Biden administration and is vigorously opposed by Ukraine, which considers it to be a grave threat to national security.

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Biden pushes massive economic plan despite "stalemate"

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday urged congressional Democrats to overcome differences surrounding his multi-trillion-dollar economic proposal but said he's still confident it will pass.

Why it matters: It's currently unclear how the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will move forward with moderate and progressive Democrats in disagreement over critical portions of the legislation.