After Fatal Floods, Germans Look at How Climate Change Contributed
To germany now where crews are cleaning up after the worst floods the region has seen nearly six decades more than one hundred sixty people have died. The damage amounts to billions of dollars. Now germans are asking what role climate change may be playing and how to keep this from happening again. Npr's rob schmitz has been out surveying the destruction. He joins us from the flood. Region near bonn. Hey rob emyr lewis. So i know you have been out. In one of the worst hit towns. You spent yesterday talking to people there. What are they saying about how this happened. Yes spoke to several yesterday. In the town of knowing of isla people who had suffered incredible damage to their homes. Dozens of people in this town died in this disaster and the one thing everyone was talking about was how unnatural all of the seem. The rain was nothing like anyone had ever seen. Before the way the tiny creek that runs through this town the are filled up from below a foot deep to twenty five feet deep in a matter of a few hours as water rushed down into this valley as spoke to resident martin larsen about this and he thought climate change was definitely a part of this but he also listed other culprits behind the severity of the flooding. Here's what he said. This type of flooding is not normal. This type of rain is not normal. The consequences of not for the main thing is probably infrastructure. Now you've probably been building everywhere where we hear you asphalted. Everything's paved the river straight. Yeah it's not bending back and forth. It's been manipulated by man throughout the years. It's nice and and shallow and it's just cozy but when it comes high water it's a germany is europe's most populous country. It's about the size of new mexico but it has more than eighty million people in that area so its population is fairly dense and there are so many towns like the one i visited yesterday that are built along waterways that are highly engineered and urban management to prevent these extreme weather events from causing so much damage is something that german officials will likely start analyzing more closely in the aftermath of this tragedy.