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Minute’s silence across the nation

The people of Belgium have held a minute’s silence to remember the victims of the floods in Limburg and Wallonia as part of today’s National Day of Mourning on the eve of the national holiday.  The official death toll stands at 31 with 116 people still unaccounted for.

It’s still unclear how many people precisely are unaccounted for after the flood disaster.  Belgium’s crisis centre put the figure at 70 on Monday, but home minister Verlinden now speaks of the police missing persons’ unit still having dossiers open on 116 unaccounted people.

“It must be terrible not to have news, but it’s quite possible when the news comes it will be bad news. We should take account of victims still being buried under the rubble, while others may have been swept away by the waters.  You can’t rule out no trace being found of some people.”

Public life ground to a halt the length and breadth of the country at noon.  Filip, King of Belgians, PM Alexander De Croo and home minister Verlinden were in Verviers, one of the towns at the heart of the disaster area.

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In Mechelen (Antwerp Province) a short ceremony was held on the market square.

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