Twisters rip through Schleswig-Holstein

Twisters rip through Schleswig-Holstein
Photo: DPA
Two tornadoes touched down in northern Germany, damaging houses and uprooting trees, authorities reported Wednesday.

A 150 metre wide tornado and left a three kilometre trail of debris through the town of Großsolt in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein. The twister landed around 9 PM on Tuesday, heavily damaging at least 11 houses.

“You could see it coming, like a tower,” town fire chief Erich Lassen said. He said a 100 year-old tree was shattered into “matchsticks.” No injuries were reported.

Another tornado ripped through Neumünster, about 90 kilometres south of Großsolt, tearing off the roof of a stable and knocking down about 10 trees, the police reported. No injuries or additional damage was reported.

Over 50 firemen were on call in Großsolt to help clear debris, Lassen said. By Wednesday morning, roofers were already at work in the town, repairing storm damage.

At least two other tornadoes have ripped through German cities in the past month. Though twisters are often associated with the American Midwest, they’re not unusual in Germany meteorologist Günther Fleischhauer said in an interview with newswire DPA. Conditions Tuesday evening were stormy with large differences in atmospheric pressure.

“In such weather, the likelihood of tornadoes is relatively high. Because many areas are thinly-populated, most of the tornadoes are never even observed,” Fleischauer, who works for the German Weather Service in Hamburg, said.

Unlike in the US, conditions for tornadoes are very fleeting and occur only on the edge of storm systems, making it practically impossible to issue tornado warnings, said Fleischhauer.

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