Disaster response Germany

Western Europe Flooding

2021 - Ongoing
Published on Jul 19, 2021 03:31 PM  -  Updated on Jul 22, 2021 11:34 AM
In July 2021, record rainfall has caused widespread flooding across Western Europe, with some areas suffering the worst devastation in decades. 180 casualties have been reported and dozens remain unaccounted for.
  • Context: floods
  • Start date: 16/07/2021
  • Area of intervention: Western Germany

Context

In mid-July 2021 torrential rains hit Western Europe causing the worst floods in decades in several regions in the West of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The situation is critical in Germany, in the North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate regions, where several villages and towns have been flooded and some neighborhoods destroyed. More than 180 deaths have already been confirmed, dozens of people are still missing and thousands of people have been forced to leave their houses. Internet and phone lines are still down in some areas in the West of Germany, which is hampering rescue operations, making difficult to contact the affected communities and understand the needs on the ground.    

Support to relief operations

Our team deployed to two of the highest priority areas: the Ahrweiler’s district and the town of Euskirchen.

In Ahrweiler, satellite lines have been provided to the local firefighters and all the other emergency responders including the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), who are rescuing people in areas where the mobile networks have been cut off. In Euskirchen, following the request of the Red Cross, our team installed a broadband satellite connection in their local office to support their emergency operations. After the torrential rains and consequent floods that hit the area last week, the city remained cut off from the rest of the world, without electricity and without telecom network. It was thus extremely difficult for the relief organisations to contact the victims, search for missing people and coordinate their work. TSF’s connection is particularly important for them to facilitate and speed up these operations.

TSF continues to work with the local authorities and the relief organisations to provide telecom support in the highest priority areas.