Flood Disaster Recovery
Severe flooding struck several European countries. Some were disastrous, resulting in deaths and massive devastation. The floods began as flash floods in the United Kingdom, causing some property damage and disruption. Several river basins in Europe were later devastated by floods, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Many floods occurred at comparable dates in July and August of 2021, with flooding also occurring in Turkey, China, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the United States, and New Zealand.
Belgian Minister of Home Affairs Annelies Verlinden called the incidents “one of the worst natural disasters our country has ever experienced.” The floods were described as “devastating” by Rhineland-Palatinate minister-president Malu Dreyer. Aside from the documented deaths, the flooding caused widespread power outages, forced evacuations, and damage to infrastructure and agriculture in the impacted areas. Infrastructure damage was particularly severe in Belgium and Germany. The insured losses from the floods are anticipated to be up to €2.55 billion, with overall damage costs significantly higher. Following the event, scientists, activists, and media all emphasized the link to global trends in extreme weather, particularly increasingly frequent heavy rainfall due by climate change.