Image by Luca Masters (source: Flickr)

Last night, floods in Belgium claimed their first two victims. A woman, who got stuck in her car due to high water levels on the street, was unable to escape on time and drowned. A man, who was walking home late last night, was surprised and dragged away by the strong water current. His lifeless body was found close to his home.

It’s been raining in Belgium for a week now. And as torrential rain continues to fall over parts of the country, the lower parts see floodwaters rising by the hour. The past couple of days, some areas saw 10 to 20 cm of rain fall down per square meter. In some streets and villages, the water level in the streets is exceeding 60 cm (24 inch) and people need to be evacuated by boats.

Due to the ongoing rainfall, a state of emergency has been declared in Belgium. Where needed streets or parts of towns and cities have been closed and people have been evacuated. Power cuts, mudslides, breaking dikes have all been reported. In some areas tab water has been contaminated and the authorities urges people to boil water before drinking it.