November 28, 2022

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In Belgium, elected officials condemn the limited resources of rescuers

Truce, Belgium, 2021, July 16, 2021, A woman wipes water from a flooded house after heavy rain.

The balance sheet continues to grow heavily. In Belgium, Weekly flood It caused at least 31 deaths, with 163 missing Sunday evening, mostly in Wallonia. This research is concentrated in the most affected province of Liege, but also in Namur and Luxembourg. All the eastern parts of the country are under rubble. The victims were thousands, and 37,000 were still without electricity. “It may take us ten years to recreate everything”, Estimates Fabian Beldron, Burgomaster of Truce, that one of these cities was unleashed by the tributary of the Muse, the Westray.

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Although it is time to meditate and help disaster victims, initial criticisms are being heard. The amount of water that fell in Belgium was certainly unique. But did the flood-hit officials respond in a timely manner? “We cried for help. Initially, many did not realize the scale of the problem, Fabian Peltron is sorry. It took ten to twelve hours for the aid to gradually kick in. In twelve hours, the water had gone from a height of one meter to two meters, even four meters. ”


Burgomaster realized “Helpless” In front of hundreds of people who called to him, often refugees on their roofs, in the pouring rain, to whom he could not bring help. “Firefighters and police came, but their resources were not enough. There were heroic deeds in this crisis, but structurally, absolutely not.”, Adds Etienne Wendy, head of the Center for Public Social Action (CPAS) in Truce. The villagers, the abandoned ones, therefore, had to defend themselves, or tried to evict themselves from their homes with the help of a neighbor.

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“Several hours later, the soldiers finally arrived.”, Etienne restarts Wendy. The current was too strong to start boat rescue. “They did not go by helicopter because it was raining., Declares, without bitterness, Fabian Peltron. If helicopters do not go out in the rain, when will they go out in Belgium? “

As for civil defense, “They have ridiculous ways”, Concludes the Chairman of CPAS. This federal rescue service is one of the worst controversies of this crisis. In 2017, John Jumban, the interior minister in the Charles Michael government, tripled the number of cities and cut workers by 30%. Most non-existent support services these days.

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