No more survivors likely to be found in German flood zone-relief official


BERLIN (Reuters) – Rescue crews are unlikely to find any more survivors among the rubble of villages devastated by floods in western Germany, a senior Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) official said on Wednesday.

At least 170 people died in last week’s flooding, Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century, and thousands went missing.

“We are still looking for missing persons as we clear roads and pump water out of basements,” THW deputy chief Sabine Lackner told Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.

Any further victims that are found now are likely to be dead, she said.

For immediate relief, the federal government was expected on Wednesday to announce plans to provide 200 million euros ($235.5 million) in emergency aid, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

That will come on top of 200 million euros to be provided from Germany’s 16 federal states to repair buildings and damaged local infrastructure and to help people in crisis situations.

Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told Deutschlandfunk radio the aid would include funds to help businesses such as restaurants or hair salons make up for lost revenue.

(Writing by Maria Sheahan, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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