Bavaria hit by fresh flash-floods as German death toll climbs to 156

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FRANKFURT, July 18 (Reuters) – Flash floods hit southern Germany on Sunday, killing at least one person and adding to the devastation after flooding in the country this week that killed more than 150 people.

The Berchtesgadener Land district in Bavaria, which borders Austria, became the latest region to be hit by record rainfall and ensuing floods.

Sunday’s death brought the death toll to 156 in the country’s worst natural disaster in almost six decades.

Some 110 people were killed in the worst-hit Ahrweiler district south of Cologne. More bodies are expected to be found as the flood waters recede, according to police.

Over the past several days the floods, which have mostly hit the states of Rhineland Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, have cut off entire communities from power and communications. In North Rhine-Westphalia at least 45 were killed.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told weekly Bild am Sonntag that the government would be readying more than 300 million euros ($354 million) in immediate relief and billions of euros to fix collapsed houses, streets and bridges.

Scientists have long said that climate change will lead to heavier downpours. But determining its role in these relentless rainfalls will take at least several weeks to research, scientists said on Friday. ($1 = 0.8471 euros)

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz Editing by Frances Kerry)

Photo EPA/KARL-JOSEF HILDENBRAND