The Chancellor has traveled to the flood areas in the west again. During the visit to Bad Münstereifel, the Chancellor said: She hoped that the disbursement of the first funds to those affected would be “a matter of days”.
Bad Münstereifel – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has again traveled to the flood areas in western Germany. After her visit to the Ahrweiler district in Rhineland-Palatinate, which was badly hit by the flood disaster, she came to North Rhine-Westphalia.
Together with NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet, who is also candidate for Union Chancellor, she got an idea of the situation at noon in Bad Münstereifel. Merkel promised the people in the flood regions unbureaucratic immediate aid. Everything will be done “that the money gets to the people quickly,” said the CDU politician. “I hope that will be a matter of days.”
Laschet emphasized: “The forms and the applications have to be very simple, very simple. And they should be ready this week so that the payment of the first funds can begin very soon. ”He is very grateful that the Federal Cabinet will bring initial emergency aid this Wednesday.
Scholz announces 400 million euros in emergency aid
Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has already announced that around 400 million euros will be available as quick aid. In addition, a development fund is planned, which the federal and state governments want to negotiate, according to information from the German Press Agency, as soon as the damage can be assessed.
Half of the emergency aid of 400 million euros is to be borne by the federal government and half by the states concerned. In addition, the federal government wants to exempt the federal states from the costs of rescue operations by the federal police, technical relief organization (THW) and civil protection. The Federal Armed Forces operations in the floodplain are also not to be billed to the federal states.
During her visit to Bad Münstereifel, Merkel said that the rebuilding of the destroyed infrastructure such as roads and railways and the reconstruction of the city would take longer than a few months. It is very clear that “we will need a lot of patience here”.
The Chancellor had initially been informed about the situation on site by the District Administrator of the Euskirchen district, Markus Ramers, and by Mayor Sabine Preiser-Marian. She looked at a hall with donated relief goods and then got her own impression by walking through the town. She also spoke to helpers and citizens.
At least 164 dead so far
The situation in Erftstadt-Blessem, also in North Rhine-Westphalia, is still tense. According to the Rhein-Erft district, there is a safety zone of 100 meters around the demolition edge. This must not be entered, there is still “acute danger to life”. Nevertheless, many residents should be allowed to return to their homes at least temporarily in the coming days in order to secure their belongings.
The death toll had risen to at least 170 by Tuesday: 122 were confirmed from Rhineland-Palatinate and 48 from North Rhine-Westphalia. People were still missing on Tuesday – 155 in the Ahrweiler district in the north of Rhineland-Palatinate. Around 40,000 people there were considered to have been affected by the consequences of the devastating flood. It is an “enormous number of people” in an “enormous area”, said the head of the crisis team of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Thomas Linnertz.
For the people in the flood areas, it is still important to clear away mud and debris from their houses and from the streets. Progress has been reported from the village of Kordel near Trier in Rhineland-Palatinate. Most of the debris was removed there, said a police spokesman.
In the midst of misery, looters also give some people trouble. After several thefts in the flood area, the police increased their presence in the Märkisches Kreis in North Rhine-Westphalia. Citizens are asked to report suspicious people or vehicles via the emergency number 110. dpa