The Kyll river has overflowed its banks in Erdorf and flooded parts of the village
© Harald Tittel/dpa/AP
The Kyll river has overflowed its banks in Erdorf and flooded parts of the village.
Four people have died and more than 30 are missing following the collapse of several homes after heavy rain triggered severe flooding in western Germany, police said.

The deaths were reported in the Ahrweiler district, which is a wine-growing region on the Ahr river that flows into the Rhine.

The properties collapsed last night in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, broadcaster SWR said.

Around 25 more houses are in danger of collapsing in the district of Schuld bei Adenau in the hilly Eiffel region, it added.

The report described the situation in the rural district of Eifelkreis Bitburg-Prum as "extremely dangerous".

A spokesman for the district told the broadcaster a family-of-five were stranded in a property completely surrounded by water.

Homes have been evacuated in areas within a 50 metre radius of the Ahr river.

Some residents in Altenahr have been spotted climbing on to the roofs of their homes waiting to be rescued by air, SWR said.

Rescuers have become trapped themselves in some parts, due to the strong current of the floodwaters.

It comes after the German Weather Service issued an extreme weather warning for parts of three western states.

Two firefighters drowned and the army was deployed to help stranded residents on Wednesday.

Hagen, a city of 180,000, declared a state of emergency yesterday after the Volme river burst its banks.

Floodwaters caused the lifts to fail in a hospital, and a care home had to evacuated.

Residents were also told to leave a district of the regional capital Duesseldorf, a major business centre.

The deluge of rain and flooding has disrupted rail, road and river transport, with shipping suspended on the Rhine river.

Further heavy rainstorms are expected to hit southwestern Germany today, and could continue until Friday night, forecasters warned.

"We see this kind of situation only in winter ordinarily," Bernd Mehlig, an environment official from North Rhine-Westphalia, the most affected region, told broadcaster WDR.

"Something like this, with this intensity, is completely unusual in summer."