The city of Namur has cancelled fireworks displays that had been planned for 20 July due to the National Day of Mourning announced on Friday by Belgium’s Government.
Instead, flags will be flown at half-mast in the Walloon capital as a sign of homage, respect and solidarity with the communes and bereaved families affected by this week’s devastating floods, which have claimed at least 24 lives so far, according to the Belgian crisis centre.
“Unfortunately, we have to take into account that this number will increase further in the hours and days to come. The various emergency services are continuing their research on the ground,” The crisis centre explained on Saturday morning.
“Our country is going through very difficult moments,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo during a press conference on Friday. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. The whole country sympathises with them.”
“What should have been beautiful summer days have suddenly become dark, pitch-black days for many of our compatriots,” he added.
The City of Brussels had already announced on Friday that it was cancelling the National Day festivities planned for 20 July, the eve of the National Holiday.
Recovery efforts are currently ongoing, with reports of improved conditions as water access is restored for many, and high water levels begin to drop.