German chancellor Angela Merkel said she is “shocked” by the news of the deadly floods that have hit some parts of her country and called it a “catastrophe.”
“Here in Washington, my thoughts are also always with the people in our homeland,” Merkel said at a press conference on Thursday, ahead of a meeting with US President Biden. “Peaceful places are going through a catastrophe in these hours, one can say a tragedy. Heavy rainfall and floods are very inadequate words to describe this — it is therefore really a catastrophe.”
She added: “I am shocked by the news that has reached me from the places that are now completely under water in which the people in greatest need climbed on the roofs of their houses and hopefully will be saved.”
Merkel acknowledged and thanked the many countries that have expressed solidarity with Germany and offered to help.
“I mourn for those who have lost their lives in this catastrophe — we do not yet know these numbers but there will be many,” she added.
The German Chancellor went on to say the focus is currently on the rescue and immediate response to those affected by the floods, but added that she was in close contact with her country’s finance minister, Olaf Scholz, to work on a strategy for longer-term financial aid to help with recovery.