Floods in Germany : A Fiasco Built by Years of Government Inaction and Mismanagement?

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Floods in Germany : A Fiasco Built by Years of Government Inaction and Mismanagement?

Recent floods have killed scores of people throughout Central and Western Europe, especially in Germany. Hundreds of individuals have gone missing, and thousands more have been displaced. Nearly 2,000 people have perished, and many highways and houses have been destroyed, inflicting unprecedented devastation since World War II. Over 1,500 people are still missing in Germany in the last ten days. Furthermore, searching for the missing is no longer possible owing to the passage of time.

The Merkel administration was paralyzed by the severity and magnitude of the damage and was utterly unable to respond. The German government had to resort to the army for relief operations during the recent floods. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Germany’s Federal Defense Minister, has said that helping inundated areas is now a top priority for Deutsches Heer. The army was forced to deploy its tanks to clear fallen trees and other obstacles. In the aftermath of the recent floods, German authorities just recorded casualties and offered sympathy to the bereaved families. Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was visiting Washington, D.C. at the time of the floods, merely expressed her condolences to the flood-affected families. She didn’t provide any emergency orders and didn’t stop on her route back to Berlin to keep an eye on the disaster-stricken regions. Mrs Merkel finally decided to visit the devastated regions, days after catastrophic floods.

She allegedly pledged that her government would provide urgent and medium-term aid, as well as financial support for infrastructure reconstruction, after a very short tour.

Dams and diversion canals safeguard hundreds of millions of people from flood disasters in many nations today. Floods occur when inadequate infrastructure and weather forecasts are not taken into consideration in regions with particular climatic conditions. Reforestation, dam construction, reservoir construction, and flood canal construction are the most common flood control techniques. The proper planning, building, and use of these structures could have reduced the devastating impact of floods by diverting floodwaters that had not been realized during the recent tragedy in Germany.

The German meteorological and crisis management systems were severely criticized after the devastating flood for failing to provide timely warnings and evacuation orders to vulnerable areas. In reality, the flood was a foreseeable danger that might have been averted.

Mrs Merkel was blasted by Michael Theurer, a senior member of Germany’s opposition centre-right Free Democrats Party, who said the catastrophe manifested a systematic failure for which Merkel and her foreign minister, Horst Seehofer, are directly responsible. According to the German Left Party, the administration failed to take the warnings seriously or deliver them with the required force. Meanwhile, two-thirds of German policymakers think federal and regional governments should do more to safeguard citizens from floods, according to a survey conducted by NSW for Bild, a German tabloid daily. The German media worked hard to avoid drawing attention to the government’s debacle. However, the fact remains that the devastating scale of this flood, dubbed the “Great National Disaster” by some journalists, will take a long time to recover from and for people to resume their regular lives. Today, many Germans believe that their government had no measures to prevent floods and thus failed miserably to protect German citizens.

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