'Leave if you can': Mayor of Liège seeks to evacuate city

'Leave if you can': Mayor of Liège seeks to evacuate city
Floods in Liège. Credit: Belga

As heavy rainfall continues in Belgium, the situation in Liège has become particularly critical, resulting in the city's mayor calling on those who can to leave the city or travel to higher ground.

Meanwhile, residents who live around the banks of the Meuse, which has started to burst out of its banks, are being evacuated.

"The water level will rise by about one and a half metres. We are therefore asking those who can, to leave the city, especially those who live on the banks of the Meuse," said acting mayor Christine Defraigne.

She added that, if this is not possible, people should take refuge on higher grounds or climb to the upper floors of buildings.

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"The peak hasn't come yet, it's on the horizon. We are going to close the quays, we are also going to send the message that you should not come to Liège at this time," she added. No more cars can enter the city, but motorists can leave.

"Evacuation order in the city centre of Liège where the water level keeps rising. Shops closed from 3:00 PM. People who are on the territory of the Cité ardente are asked to head for higher ground," a spokesperson for Pierre-Yves Jeholet, the president of the Brussels-Wallonia Federation, said on Twitter.

So far, six people have died as a result of the heavy rainfall and flooding across Belgium. A total of five bodies have been found in Liège, whilst one body of a young man was found in Eupen, in the eastern part of the country.

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