Death toll rises to at least 157 in Europe floods

The search for survivors in stranded vehicles as the floodwaters finally start to recede in western Germany.

Burst rivers and flash floods this week collapsed houses and claimed at least 157 lives across across Europe.

The German President visited the scene of some of the worst flooding in the town of Erftstadt, near Cologne, where the disaster killed at least 43 people.

'We mourn with those that have lost loved ones....their fate is ripping our hearts apart', he said.

These floods are the country's worst natural disaster in more than half a century.

Hundreds of people are still missing.

Over the past several days the floods have cut off entire communities from power and communications.

In Belgium, the death toll rose to 24, according to the national crisis center, which is coordinating the rescue effort.

Emergency services in the Netherlands also remained on high alert as overflowing rivers threatened towns and villages throughout the southern province of Limburg.

Tens of thousands of residents in the region have been evacuated in the past two days, while soldiers, fire brigades and volunteers worked frantically throughout Friday night to enforce dykes and prevent flooding.

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