German flood disaster damage bill to top 26 billion euros
A general view of the destroyed main road leading through the Ahr valley in the aftermath of the July 2020 deadly floods that engulfed parts of Germany. Thomas Frey/dpa
A general view of the destroyed main road leading through the Ahr valley in the aftermath of the July 2020 deadly floods that engulfed parts of Germany. Thomas Frey/dpa

The damage caused by Germany's deadly floods in July is likely to exceed 26 billion euros (30.6 billion dollars), officials say.

The cost alone in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia is expected to be more than 13 billion euros, Premier Armin Laschet told a special session of the region’s parliament on Monday.

The damage in the neighbouring state of Rhineland-Palatinate resulting from the floods, which left 184 dead in the two regions, was expected to be at least as high.

The planned national reconstruction fund would have to include funds between 20 to 30 billion euros, said Laschet, who is also currently the front-runner to succeed Angela Merkel as German chancellor following next month's national election.

Laschet said he now hoped that a special session of the national German parliament in Berlin would sign off on the fund to ensure the rapid flow of money from the fund.

In North Rhine-Westphalia alone, more than 150 schools were damaged, along with more than 200 day care centres, Laschet said.

Doctors' surgeries as well as more than 50 pharmacies were damaged in the floods, which Laschet described as the worst natural disaster to hit his state since the founding of the federal German republic in the years immediately following World War II.

A man sits on the tracks of the Ahr valley, which suffered damage and bending during the July 2020 deadly floods that engulfed parts of Germany. Thomas Frey/dpa