European officials say ‘climate change has arrived’ as deadly floods engulf whole towns

The death toll from deadly flooding across parts of Western Europe rose to 157 Saturday morning as the desperate search for survivors continues despite rising water levels, landslides, and blackouts.

European officials said climate change contributed to this week’s flooding in Europe that has flooded entire cities leaving more than 120 people dead.

Scientists have warned for decades that climate change will make extreme weather events such as heavy rain and fatal floods more likely.

Neighboring Belgium was also seriously affected by the floods that killed 20 people in the country and threatened to spread, Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told a news conference Friday.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday said flooding in north-west Europe showed that action to tackle climate change is urgently needed.

Although it is too early for scientists to tell what role climate changing is playing in causing this particular flooding, extreme rainfall events, such as was seen this week in Western Europe, are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia had received 154 millimetres in precipitation in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, almost twice the monthly average for July-87 millimetres.

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