Germany Begins Massive Clean-up Effort Costing BILLIONS

TIME TO REBUILD: GERMANY is expected to fork out billions of euros to clean up the devastation caused after terrifying floods killed 188.
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The German Government is also piecing together a 300million euros (£257m) rescue package for the worst-hit areas.

Shocking photographs show the widespread devastation caused by the horrific floods with homes destroyed and towns ravaged.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made the aid announcement shortly after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Speaking with the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, he said Germany had no choice but to kickstart a rebuilding programme.

This comes as German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited some of the hardest-hit areas in the west of the country and talked to survivors and emergency workers.

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She said: “It is shocking… I can almost say that the German language doesn’t have words for the destruction that’s been wreaked.

“What I could see, however, is also incredibly comforting – how people are sticking together, how they are helping each other, the solidarity that is there.”

The German leader then vowed to fight climate change “through policy that pays more regard to nature and the climate”.

She said: “Germany is a strong country and we will stand up to this force of nature in the short term — but also in the medium and long term, through policy that pays more regard to nature and the climate than we did in recent years.”

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She added that, despite the heavy financial cost, governments must fight faster “in the battle against climate change,” pointing to policies already set in motion by Germany and the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

She added: “One flood isn’t the example of climate change, but if we look at the loss events of recent years, decades, then they are simply more frequent than they were previously – so we must make a great effort.”

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The death toll in Germany has risen to at least 188 overnight during the country’s worst natural disaster in decades.

A reservoir is still at risk of collapse in the wake of the devastation.

Around 4,500 residents in villages near the Steinbach reservoir in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, have been told to evacuate their homes amid fears that the 57ft dam could collapse.

Local authorities said the situation was “stable but not uncritical” after cracks were spotted in the dam yesterday. The area has seen three months of rainfall in a week.

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