TV journalist suspended after 'rubbing mud on her face' in flood clean-up report

A German TV reporter has been suspended after she appeared to rub mud on her face while pretending to help a town devastated by flooding.

Susanna Ohlen, 39, was filming a report in Bad Munstereifel when someone recorded her leaning over and appearing to cover herself in dirt.

She has now issued an apology but insists that she had been helping out in the region the previous day and felt 'ashamed' to wear a clean top.

Flash floods hammered Germany on 15 July, killing at least 188 people and turning towns into rubble.

Ms Ohlen was reporting on the aftermath of the floods in Bad Munstereifel when she was seen covering herself in dirt. even published an article titled "cleaning up after the flood: RTL presenter lends a hand in Bad Munstereifel", according to The Sun.

However, she was exposed when an onlooker filmed her plastering herself with mud.

RTL subsequently handed the reporter a 'leave of absence' after finding out about the incident.

The channel said: "Our reporter's approach clearly contradicts journalistic principles and our own standards.

"We, therefore, gave her a leave of absence on Monday after we heard about it."

Footage appears to show Ms Ohlen bending over to pick up mud while surrounded by devastated buildings.

It is believed she smeared it on her clothes before then picking up more and seemingly smearing it over her face.

TV journalist suspended after 'rubbing mud on her face' in flood clean-up report

The person who filmed her antics can be heard laughing as Ms Ohlen then faces her camera crew.

In an apology post on Instagram, she said: "I made a serious mistake on Monday in the flood area in front of the switch for Good Morning Germany.

"After I had already helped out privately in the region on the previous day, I was ashamed in front of the other auxiliaries this morning to stand in front of the camera in a clean top.

"As a result, without thinking twice, I smeared mud on my clothes. As a journalist, I should have never allowed to happen to me.

"As a person who suffers the suffering of all those affected, it happened to me. I beg your pardon."

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It comes after chilling satellite images show the devastation wrought by the flooding.

Emergency workers are still searching for more survivors from the freak floods that hit the North Rhine-Westphalia area.

Homes have been swept away and cars submerged under water as the clean up operation gets underway.

In stark new images showing the deluge from the air the once verdant areas can be seen as they were some three years ago, compared to how they have been ravaged by the flooding now.

Clean-up work was continuing in the Ahrweiler district with as many as 170 still missing thought to be in areas authorities had not yet reached or where waters had not yet receded.

The worst of the flooding cut off entire communities from power and communications.

Residents were trapped in their homes by fast-rising floodwaters and a number of houses collapsed, leaving what Angela Merkel on Sunday described as "terrifying" scenes.

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