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Disaster tourists – gawkers hinder rescue workers

Ahrweiler (Rhineland-Palatinate) – It is the region of Germany that was sometimes worst destroyed by the flood of death – and that unfortunately also attracts annoying disaster tourists …

In the Ahrweiler district, more than 100 people were killed in the storms, hundreds are missing, entire areas were destroyed. While rescuers fight for lives and residents for their belongings, they are disturbed by curious onlookers.

The responsible police in Koblenz recently tweeted that gaffers were hindering the emergency services in their relief measures – and even putting themselves in danger.

“One thing is that they make the affected residents feel like they are in the zoo in their front gardens,” said Lars Brummer from the Koblenz Police Headquarters a few days ago with a view of onlookers taking photographs. “The other thing is that they can obstruct escape routes.”

In the disaster areas, there are no longer so many impeccable roads – these must remain free for ambulances, police and rescue workers.

A resident from Sinzig (Ahrweiler district) told the dpa at the end of last week that many people had driven through the residential area – “just to gawk”. Some would have given the gas extra “to fill us all up”.

The police are calling for the flood areas to be bypassed extensively. “I’m talking about onlookers, not onlookers,” added Brummer. “There will always be some. If we meet them, they will get an announcement and, if necessary, a dismissal.

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