‘Sets a new low!’ BBC Breakfast viewers hit out over European flooding coverage

BBC Breakfast reporter wades through floodwaters in Guelle

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Presenters Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty welcomed correspondent Anna Holligan to BBC Breakfast as she delivered a sobering report about the flooding in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. However, many viewers have criticised the coverage for its lack of focus on the people affected by the devastation.

At least 120 people are dead with more than 1,000 missing after parts of Western Europe were engulfed by the worst flood in decades.

Speaking from Guelle, Netherlands, correspondent Anna Holligan was seen almost waist deep in the horrific flooding.

She was standing outside a man’s home as he attempted to remove some of the flood water that was “seeping into his home” but, as Anna explained, his attempts were “futile” as “there is nowhere for it to go”.

As Anna was showing audiences the destruction of the Dutch village, many were quick to take to Twitter to criticise her coverage of the devastation.

One viewer wrote: “WOW! Amongst a huge European tragedy with the continuing & heartbreaking news of so much devastation being suffered by our global neighbours.

“@BBCBreakfast ‘corespondents’ bringing us updates of someone losing their fish and worms under feet. @BBCNews bar sets a new low,” they concluded. (sic)

Anna continued her segment, by explaining: “Where I’m standing now, this is normally a road.

“Up here is a small fishing lake. I spoke to Cecile who runs it and she says she doesn’t know where her fish are. She doesn’t know if they’ve survived.”

She also pointed out: “There are worms under my feet.”

More took to Twitter to complain about the flood coverage and its focus on minor aspects of the damage rather than the larger issue at hand, with another writing: “What is the point of showing this disaster zone?

“How about finding someone or some method of helping rather than some pointless broadcast that instills apathy rather than action.

“Appalling journalism but par for the course. #BBCBreakfast.”

The backlash for the BBC coverage continued as Anna added: “There’s a neighbour here who has had to rescue his goats by hand.”

She later revealed: “This area is now officially classed as a disaster zone, which means these people can access help from the government.

“But, right now, they are being left to their own devices.”

Anna was speaking from the village Guelle, which is an “area equidistant between the German and the Belgian borders” and many residents tragically lost their homes to the severe flood.

Anna moaned that the water was “inside my welly boots now”.

Someone else tweeted after Anna’s segment, joking: “She’s got worms under her feet!!!! The f***ing drama…. #bbcbreakfast.” [sic]

The correspondent later explained that evacuations were taking place today all over Germany, and Charlie noted that “thousands of residents West of the German city of Cologne have been evacuated after a dam was breached by flood water overnight”.

The flooding in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium has broken records after severe rainfall caused rivers to burst their banks.

In under 48 hours, it has been reported some of the devastated areas have been drenched by almost 150 litres of water per square metre, with the death toll passing 150 people.

BBC Breakfast airs weekdays and weekends at 6am on BBC One.

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