At least 42 people have died in western Germany and many more are missing following severe floods, police say.

The worst of the flooding has been in the states of Rhineland-Palatinate where buildings and cars have been washed away.

At least six others have died in neighbouring Belgium, and the city of Liège has urged all residents to leave.

It follows record rainfall in parts of Western Europe that has caused major rivers to burst their banks.

The Netherlands has also been badly hit, with flooding rivers damaging many houses in the southern province of Limburg. A number of care homes have also been evacuated. END.

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