A year on from floods, Belgians are still traumatized

STORY: The floods in eastern Belgium in July 2021 were the most destructive in living memory. Streets turned into rivers, roads were ripped up and houses caved in, shocking a wealthy country that had by and large escaped the worst effects of climate change.

Trooz, with just over 8,000 inhabitants, was one of the hardest-hit.

"When there are rainstorms, we are afraid of having water up to that level. There have been deaths, we found a body there three weeks ago. It's traumatizing. We have to rebuild ourselves," Bonelli said.

The floods, which also devastated towns in Germany, came as a series of extreme weather events hit Europe - including deadly heatwaves in Italy and catastrophic wildfires in Greece.

Scientists say climate change is causing heavier downpours, because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture.

In Trooz, "for sale" signs outside houses lined the streets. Many locals have left for greener pastures since the disaster.

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