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Death toll in Germany floods rises to 165

Residents and shopkeepers are trying to clear mud from their homes and move unusable furniture outside in Ahrweiler, western Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Heavy rains caused mudslides and flooding in the western part of Germany. Multiple have died and are missing as severe flooding in Germany and Belgium turned streams and streets into raging, debris-filled torrents that swept away cars and toppled houses. (Thomas Frey/dpa via AP)
Residents and shopkeepers are trying to clear mud from their homes and move unusable furniture outside in Ahrweiler, western Germany, Saturday, July 17, 2021. Heavy rains caused mudslides and flooding in the western part of Germany. Multiple have died and are missing as severe flooding in Germany and Belgium turned streams and streets into raging, debris-filled torrents that swept away cars and toppled houses. (Thomas Frey/dpa via AP)

The death toll from Germany’s worst floods in living memory rises to 165 as emergency services continue to comb through decimated towns in search of dozens of people still missing.

A deluge of rain fell over western Germany over two days last week, sending torrents of water rushing down streets, sweeping away trees, cars and sheds, and destroying swathes of housing.

Many victims have been found dead in sodden cellars after attempting to retrieve valuables, while others were swept away by the sheer force of the water.

Emergency workers have been out in force to assess damaged buildings, clear debris and restore gas, electricity and telephone services.

In some areas, police have deployed speedboats and divers to retrieve bodies.

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