The water is slowly receding, but the disaster is far from over. In devastated riverside towns in Germany, people are only slowly working their way through dealing with what the flood has left behind: bulks of mud and piles of rubbish.

At least 170 people died in last week’s flooding, Germany’s worst natural disaster in more than half a century. Any victims that are found now are likely to be dead.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with the cabinet in Berlin on Wednesday in order to approve an enormous emergency relief package to rebuild Germany’s flood-ravaged regions.

After the cabinet meeting, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said that the federal government agreed to allocate €200 million ($235.5 million) in emergency aid funding.

German news agency dpa had earlier reported that an initial relief package of €400 million was expected, with half coming from the federal government and the rest from state governments.

Later on, a much larger package worth billions to rebuild essential infrastructure is anticipated. While the damage is still being assessed, it is believed the damage to roads and rail networks will tally up to be at least €2 billion.


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