I am starting to wonder whether my generation will be the key witness to massive changes in our environment. For years the drought has caused wildfires to spring up in the west. Thousands of buildings have been lost, displacing the people living in them. Those who were affected and survived, had to start over again. This year previous records have been broken. The number of fires raging in the west (and even in North Western Ontario) is getting higher with every day.
At the same time, other areas are experiencing devastating flash floods like never been before.
This morning we woke up to terrible news from Bea's home town, Ahrweiler, Germany. The river AHR runs through town and we have enjoyed nice walks along the river under previous visits in town. Today, the area looks quite different. Gone are the idyllic views across the peaceful flowing river. Catastrophic flashfloods in the area have caused the river to swell way above its normal bed, causing unprecedent damages in the many small towns of the Ahr Valley. Roads are gone, bridges threaten to crumble, the power grid has been shut down, fire brigades are trying to rescue people from their house roofs and upper stories, but some villages and towns are still isolated. Rescue workers can't get to the people as roads are gone. The German army has deployed tanks to go on rescue missions. France, Italy and the UK have offered to help with money and equipment. The death toll currently stands at 46 with many more not being accounted for. Damages are already estimated to be in the billions.
Bea still has family in Ahrweiler, and her cousins have fled the town. Their homes might be a bad sight upon their return. We are also thinking of the cemetary where Bea's mother was just buried a few weeks ago. It's not far from the river and we know it has been flooded. Over hundred seniors had to be evacuated from the nursing home where Bea's mother spent her last years.
The terrible truth of this is that our lives are so fragile that everything we love and use every day can be destroyed within hours of a downpour.
We feel sorry for all those affected by this catastrophe.
UPDATE: The devastation in South-West Germany is much worse than anticipated at first. Bea's family is in distress and Bea has opened a Go-Fund-Me page for people to donate. If you only donate 10 Dollars, it will help her family members in their recovery. Thank you for your consideration.