Merkel in disaster area: good old siren may be more useful than we thought

Armin Laschet, state prime minister of North Rhine-Westphalia and leader of the ruling party CDU in the elections in September, went to Bad Münstereifel. He warned that “we have to accept that this will become more common in the coming years”. He therefore advocated a comprehensive program to adapt rivers to the effects of climate change.

Laschet also acknowledged that the clean-up and repair work is sometimes hampered by bureaucracy. “In Germany we are perfect, but we are also perfect in bureaucracy.”

On Sunday, Merkel visited areas in Rhineland-Palatinate hit hard by the severe weather and flooding last week. At least 121 people were killed there, 48 in North Rhine-Westphalia. More than a hundred people are still missing.

Reporter Henrik-Willem Hofs drove his car through the Ahr valley, just east of Bad Münstereifel, yesterday. He saw miles upon miles of destruction:

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