They criticize the effectiveness of the German flood warning system but the authorities reject the accusations

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German authorities on Monday defended their flood preparedness measures after strong torrents caught many people by surprise and left more than 190 dead in western Europe, but acknowledged that they will have to learn the lessons of the disaster. AP.

Work to find more victims and clean up the disaster in a swath of western Germany, eastern Belgium and the Netherlands continued on Monday as floods subsided.

So far, 117 people have been confirmed dead in Rhineland-Palatinate, the worst affected region in Germany; 46 in neighboring North Rhine-Westphalia state, and at least one in Bavaria where there were heavy rains and floods at the weekend. At least 31 people lost their lives in Belgium.

Rains that suddenly caused floods in normally calm rivers in the middle of last week were forecast, but the warnings did not seem to reach many people.

“As soon as we have provided the immediate help that is now in the front line, we will have to analyze if there were things that did not go well, if there were things that went wrong, and then they will have to be corrected,” said German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier. to the Bild newspaper. “It is not about finding culprits, but about improving for the future“.

Federal and state authorities faced criticism from opposition politicians for allegedly failing to alert citizens of the impending disaster, which occurred prior to a national election scheduled for September.

However, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer rejected statements that federal agencies had made mistakes, and clarified that the warnings were communicated to local authorities “who make decisions for protection against disasters.”

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With AP information

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