Floods Kill More than 125 After Record Rainfall in Western Europe

At least 125 people have died and hundreds more in western Europe are unaccounted for after some of the worst flooding in decades.

Record rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks, devastating the region.

In Germany, where the death toll now stands at over 100, Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a determined battle against climate change.

At least 20 people have died in Belgium. The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Switzerland are also affected.

Many factors contribute to flooding, but a warming atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely.

The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions.

Some 15,000 police, soldiers and emergency service workers have been deployed in Germany to help with the search and rescue.

Entire villages have been destroyed, and officials in the western German district of Ahrweiler say up to 1,300 people are unaccounted for.

Gregor Jericho, a resident of Rheinbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, told the BBC: "It's a very sad scene. Streets, bridges and some buildings are destroyed. There's garbage everywhere.

"Parts of buildings are in the road, people are sitting and crying. It's so sad. People have lost their homes, their cars are in fields flooded. My city looks like a battle has taken place."