By G9ija

A woman wades across floodwater as she goes out shopping following heavy rainfall

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

The worst of the flooding has been in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where around 50 people have been waiting on rooftops to be rescued.

Dozens more are missing in the hilly Eifel region after several homes collapsed, broadcaster SWR reports.

Much of the flooding was triggered when the Ahr river, which flows into the Rhine, burst its banks south of Bonn.

“There are many places where fire brigades and rescue workers have been deployed,” a police spokesman told Reuters news agency. “We do not yet have a very precise picture because rescue measures are continuing.”

The army has been deployed to some areas to help stranded residents.

About 25 houses are in danger of collapsing near the town of Adenau in the Eifel region, where a state of emergency has been declared, according to SWR.

It said some houses in the area had been completely cut-off and could no longer be reached by boat.

Meanwhile, two firefighters died on Wednesday in a region north-east of Bonn. One drowned, while the other reportedly collapsed following a rescue operation.

Forecasts suggest more heavy rain is due in much of Germany on Thursday and Friday.

Experts say that climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme weather events, but linking any single event to global warming is complicated.