TSF sends emergency teams to help German cities affected by floods

9h | Alan Burkitt-Gray

A charity from the telecommunications industry has come to the aid of areas in Germany affected by severe flooding after torrential rains.

Télécoms sans Frontières (TSF), which relies on Capacity and a number of companies in the industry, have deployed its personnel and equipment to two of the worst affected cities, Ahrweiler in Rhineland-Palatinate and Euskirchen in North Rhine-Westphalia. The floods also affected parts of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Monique Lanne-Petit, Director of TSF, said: “The impact of the floods in Western Europe has been catastrophic. Electricity and telecom networks have been down or unstable for several days in different areas. Nineteen years after TSF’s last mission to Germany to provide support after the floods that hit the east of the country, it was essential for us to reach the most affected areas as quickly as possible and to assist them. rescue operations.

She added: “We know that in these cases every minute counts, and rescuers need all the support they can get to reach isolated victims and save lives. “

A TSF official said: “In Ahrweiler, satellite lines have been provided to local firefighters and all other emergency responders, including the Federal Technical Relief Agency (THW), who are rescuing people in areas where mobile networks have been cut. “

In Euskirchen, following a request from the Red Cross, “our team installed a high-speed satellite connection in their local office to support emergency operations”.

The city has remained cut off from the rest of the world, without electricity and telecom networks, after the torrential rains and floods that hit the region.

Yesterday, the death toll stood at 183 as efforts continued to find casualties and repair the damage. Olaf Scholz, the German finance minister, is expected to demand aid of 300 million euros tomorrow.

The TSF team visited the affected areas of Germany on Friday from its base in Pau, in the south of France. “TSF worked tirelessly over the weekend to provide telecoms support to the relief coordination mechanism,” the organization said, whose industry supporters include AT&T, DigitalColony, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, Evox Trading, PCCW Global, Thales and Vodafone Foundation as well as Capacity.

Due to the breakdown of telecommunications and electricity networks, “it was extremely difficult for relief organizations to contact victims, search for missing persons and coordinate their work,” TSF said. “The connection of TSF is particularly important for them to facilitate and accelerate these operations.

This is considered one of the worst natural disasters ever in Germany, the organization said.

TSF is also active in Mexico, Syria, Madagascar and other parts of the world, despite the pandemic. Last year, she deployed a team to Lebanon to help with the effects of the devastation caused by the explosion in the port of Beirut. She has helped set up a call center with the local group Live Love Lebanon and the Beirut Relief Coalition to enable disaster victims to report their needs, whether medical, psychological or financial.

Readers can donate through PayPal at TSF, in euros, US dollars or pounds sterling, here.

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