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More than 150 litres of rainwater per square metre fell over 24 hours in parts of western Germany, causing rivers to swell and burst their banks.
Among the worst-hit areas is Ahrweiler county, south of Cologne, where several homes collapsed in the village of Schuld and authorities say around 1,300 people are unaccounted for.
Belgium has declared a national day of mourning for next week as the number of deaths there rose to 20, with another 20 people missing.
Entire communities lie in ruins after rivers overflowed and swept through towns and villages - washing away people's homes and cars, flooding basements and causing widespread devastation - following days of torrential rain.
Thousands of people remain homeless after their houses were destroyed or deemed at-risk by officials.
The search for survivors continues and to help those trapped in houses at risk of collapse.
Add: I know other countries like Netherlands and UK are hit too, I did not want to make this about Germany but I am out of the information loop for the other countries, the radio is saturated with local news but here it's not as bad yet.
, hopefully the worst of it is over and the missing can be reunited with their families.