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Death toll in Europe flooding passes 160

Residents clear mud and unusable furniture from houses in the city center of Bad Neuenahr, western Germany, on July 17, 2021. (Thomas Frey/dpa via AP)
Residents clear mud and unusable furniture from houses in the city center of Bad Neuenahr, western Germany, on July 17, 2021. (Thomas Frey/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Rescue workers labor to clear up damage laid bare by receding water, as the death toll from disastrous flooding in Western Europe rises above 160 and thoughts turn to the lengthy job of rebuilding communities devastated in minutes.

The death toll in western Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state, home to the badly-hit Ahrweiler county, rises to 98. Another 43 people are confirmed dead in neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia state.

Belgium’s national crisis center puts the country’s confirmed death toll at 24, and said it expects the number to rise.

Days of heavy rain turned normally minor rivers and streets into raging torrents this week and caused the disastrous flooding that swept away cars, destroyed homes and trapped residents.

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