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One person dead, numerous rivers on flood alert as heavy rain sweeps across Belgium

Flooding in Hainaut province Belgium - Belga
10:25 03/01/2024

A 59-year-old woman died in East Flanders after being struck by a wind-blown fence on Tuesday as heavy rain and gales continue to batter Belgium.

Flood alerts have been issued for several rivers in Wallonia and Brussels, including the Senne and the Charleroi-Brussels canal. Several waterways risk bursting their banks, reports RTBF.

In the north of the country, the provincial phase of the disaster plan was activated in East Flanders and Flemish Brabant due to the flooding of the Dendre river. Local residents have started to be evacuated for the area.

Rivers were already flowing at a high rate and fields water-saturated when heavy rain fell over the new year. Weather warnings have been in place since the weekend and emergency numbers activated.

Sandbags were distributed in several municipalities, notably in Rebecq, in Walloon Brabant. Flooding is reported in Jemeppe in Namur province, and a residential campsite in Couvin was evacuated overnight due to safety concerns for habitants.

The weather is forecast to remain variable on Wednesday, with occasional showers interspersed with clear spells. In the north of the country, showers are likely to be more frequent and more intense. There’s also the risk of thunder, according to the Royal Meteorological(MRI).

Photo: Flooding in Hainaut province ©Belga/Pierre-Emmanuel Briquet