Almost 300 people who were reported missing since the floods began in parts of Belgium last week have been found alive so far, according to the Tuesday afternoon update of the Crisis Centre.
Of the 116 people who were still presumed missing or unreachable on Tuesday morning, 63 have been found with a sign of life in the meantime.
"53 people remain missing or unreachable," the Crisis Centre announced. "296 people reported missing have been found alive since the floods began."
Additionally, the number of deceased people still stands at 31, of whom 30 were officially identified on Tuesday afternoon.
The checks and controls have not yet been completed, and will take several more days, the Crisis Centre stated, warning that the number of people missing could fluctuate in the coming days.
Additionally, network coverage from at least one operator has been restored in the affected areas. This means that the emergency services can be reached, even if the inhabitants have no reception on their own network.
The various operators are reducing the uncovered areas in their networks as quickly as possible.
"Minimum coverage is being provided so that people in the affected area can at least call and surf the internet, even if they cannot do so at the speed they could before the floods."
Solidarity and support
Since Thursday, hundreds of people have been offering support to the victims of the disaster, either by donating material and food or by going to help on the spot. These many solidarity actions now need to be well organised so as not to hinder the work of the emergency services.
For people who want to help, the easiest way is to make a donation to the Red Cross account number on BE70 0000 0000 2525.
People who want to help as a volunteer are asked to register on the Red Cross crisis volunteer platform, and not just go to the affected areas on their own initiative.
"This could endanger the rescue operations of the emergency services. Additionally, many roads are difficult to travel on. Wait for a specific call from the Red Cross or from a municipality to donate or bring material."
The Red Cross, together with the National Crisis Centre, is currently mapping all needs in the affected areas and looking for a solution for the goods that have been delivered but have not yet been used.
"This requires time and consultation. We ask for understanding and patience."