Be very careful, it’s slippery here, says Svenja Harzim, 26, while watching TV 2 in what is now the remains of her apartment.
50 meters from the river that wreaked catastrophic destruction in Germany is the block where she has lived for two and a half years.
Within a stone’s throw, the houses collapsed.
Spends time helping
When TV 2 meets the 26-year-old in the small town of Bad-Neuenahr, she is busy helping neighbors get water from homes and dump flood waste.
She says she doesn’t have enough strength to handle the situation, and would rather spend the time helping those who can do so with the little that can be done.
Her own apartment has been completely damaged, but to Harzem it is trivial in the big picture.
– There’s not much to save here, but I’m trying to say it’s just stuff. She says the most important thing is that I and my neighbors are alive.
In her apartment, the water was almost reaching the ceiling.
– I think about how strong the water is, when you see how completely damaged furniture and cars are.
It was fortunate that she did not end up in the middle of the situation. Harzem was visiting a friend when the worst weather hit the city.
– I’m so glad I wasn’t here. Everyone around here is shocked. They talk about loud noises and from ignorance of what’s going to happen next, she says.
As far as Harizm knows, things are going well with the neighbors in the building, but she doesn’t know where they were when they were asked to evacuate from the city.
– I think everyone is out, but I haven’t seen them since I came back.
It shows an apartment in which a girl lives and another apartment that is said to live in a family of five.
– I hope they find another place to live, with friends or family.
In addition to the damage to the apartments, there is no electricity or internet connection in the building.
On Thursday evening, German authorities reported 1,300 people missing. Some of them are friends of Harzem.
“I only hope that it does not mean death, but that there will be people without a cover that cannot be reached,” she said.
The floods have claimed at least 126 lives so far, 106 of them in Germany and 20 in Belgium.
Harzem says there have been similar cases before in the country before, but never before.
Nobody expected it to be this bad. It happened quickly.
She herself feels lucky.
– I have a place to live and I have clothes to go with. Not my own brand, but who cares?
– She adds that there are many who do not have the same thing.
Cologne authorities on Friday morning released aerial photographs showing the massive devastation after the worst climate disaster since World War II in Germany.
Several people were killed on Friday morning in the Erfstadt-Belsem district when several houses collapsed in the face of the forces of nature.
A DPA spokesperson says there have been repeated emergency calls from people trapped in homes. Many of them are said to have been in the area despite eviction warnings.
In addition to the southwestern parts of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were badly affected by the bad weather.
A ministry spokesman said that the German Defense Ministry had declared a state of alert for a military disaster Globalism.
The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate was particularly hard hit after several days of heavy rain.
The Minister of the Interior of the Rhineland-Palatinate, Roger Lewens, described according to Globalism The situation is catastrophic.
– It is too early to determine the number of dead, because rescue crews constantly find bodies when searching in basements. He says this is dramatic.