Death toll from European flooding tops 150 as water recedes.

The death toll from flooding in western Europe has risen above 150 as rescue workers toiled to clear up the devastation and prevent further damage.

Police said more than 90 people are known to have died in western Germany’s Ahrweiler county, and more casualties are feared.

On Friday, authorities gave a death toll of 63 for the whole of Rhineland-Palatinate state, where Ahrweiler is located.

Another 43 people were confirmed dead in neighbouring North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state.

Belgian broadcaster RTBF reported that the death toll in Belgium rose to 27 on Saturday.

By Saturday, waters were receding across many of the affected regions, but officials fear more bodies might be found in cars and trucks that were swept away.

German president Frank-Walter Steinmeier plans to travel to Erftstadt, south west of Cologne, where a harrowing rescue effort unfolded on Friday as people were trapped when the ground gave way and their homes collapsed.

Officials fear some people did not manage to escape, but by Saturday morning no casualties had been confirmed.

Many areas were still without electricity and telephone service.

Southern parts of the Netherlands were also hit by flooding, and heavy rain in Switzerland caused several rivers and lakes to burst their banks, with authorities in the city of Lucerne closing several pedestrian bridges over the Reuss river. – PA

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