Homes destroyed, death toll rises in Europe deluge

Days of torrential downpours - and then total devastation.

Over 1,000 people were missing across flood-stricken regions in western Germany and Belgium on Friday (July 16).

The death toll has surpassed 110, and waters are still rising across the countries.

Aerial footage from the German town of Schuld highlights the extent of the damage.

The community these residents were once part of is now unrecognizable.

"It was terrible not to able to help the people. They were waving at us out of the windows. Houses were collapsing to the left and right of them and in the house between they were waving. We were lucky, we survived."

"The water had such enormous power! We were in the house, it blew the door open and I was thrown against the chimney-stove. That's how much pressure the water had when filling the house."

Germany has seen the country's largest mass loss of life in years, and there are fears the death toll will continue to rise.

The states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate have been hit especially hard.

In the town of Erftstadt, locals are battling the waters claiming other areas of the town, in an effort to stem further flooding.

Belgium and the Netherlands have also seen swathes of devastation.

Rescue teams were out in force in the southern Dutch province of Valkenburg on Thursday (July 15), where flooded rivers damaged many houses.

And a crisis response center has been set up in the Belgian town of Liege, for locals displaced by the rising waters.

Julie Fernandez is a city official.

"Listen, I'd say that we're still in difficulty, and this is not over. We're ready for the worst, even though we hope that the worst won't come. There are no hiccups in the center, on the contrary, we have been flooded with support, through community and city workers who made themselves available to come and set up, and through the residents who demonstrated great solidarity, as you can see behind me, all the living supplies, all the clothing supplies we received within hours."

Mobile phone networks have collapsed in some regions, making it hard for friends and family to track down their loved ones.

There are also concerns over reservoirs and dams bursting.

One dam close to the Belgian border, the Rurtalsperre, flooded, while another was stabilized.

Around 4,500 people have been evacuated from communities downstream, and a stretch of motorway has been closed amid fears of a breach.

The German military has deployed over 700 soldiers to help with rescue efforts.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting