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Fierce storms batter northern Germany

The Local · 7 Jun 2011, 08:59

Published: 07 Jun 2011 08:59 GMT+02:00

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A powerful storm front hit the northern port city about 5 pm, dumping 50 litres of rain per square metre, including hail stones. Thunder and lighting tore across the sky.

Streets and building basements were flooded and Hamburg U-Bahn entrances inundated.

One man was hospitalised after lighting struck close to where he was sitting in his office, daily Bild reported.

“He was sitting in his office on the seventh floor and a window was damaged by an electro-magnetic impulse,” a Hamburg fire department spokesman said.

More than 1,000 emergency services workers were deployed. The Hamburg fire department was called out 1,500 times in three hours. Normally they would be called out 630 times in a whole day.

“The whole city is affected. We are having a state of emergency,” the fire spokesman told Bild.

Click here to see pictures of the nasty weather

Parts of Hamburg’s main train station had to be closed as commuters waded through knee-deep water. Firemen were called out to the City Hall, the Interior Ministry and the US Consulate.

“There was water in basements all over the place,” the spokesman said.

The state opera house was also affected. Planes at Hamburg airport had to be grounded for about 30 minutes until the worst of the storm passed. Some S-Bahn train stations were closed for hours.

In Berlin, the fire department received about 80 call-outs in two hours, with the Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg districts especially hard hit by the torrential rain. Rain, hail and fierce squalls forced eight flights to divert from Tegel Airport in the northwest of the city to Schönefeld in the southeast.

The south of the country did not escape the brutal weather, with heavy rain and hail pounding parts of Bavaria in the districts of Kelheim, Landshut and Rottal-Inn.

Lightning caused several fires in the northeast of Germany. A 65-year-old woman in Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania died after being hit by lightning.

Story continues below…

And a herd of 30 deer were killed in a nature park in the northwestern state of North Rhine-Westphalia after a lightning bolt struck.

"They were completely roasted and had blue phosphor eyes," said Albert Stobbe, the owner of the park in Mechernich. "Most of the animals were dead on the spot."

Click here for The Local's weather forecast

The Local/DPA/djw

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Your comments about this article

10:28 June 7, 2011 by PawD
The German infrastructure can't even handle a simple thunderstorm... a thunderstorm leads to emergency like situations... and Germany calls its self 'developed'!
10:29 June 7, 2011 by Ebolter
I love the wooden snow shovel ( photo of someone wasting time removing hail from the garden) , mine has gone to the shovel God in the sky.
11:43 June 7, 2011 by puisoh
@ PawD

If there is no infrastructure, there is nothing to handle. Talks are free. Was in the city when the storm hit, a modern mall was flooded within 5 minutes. For sure a big-mouth won't handle it better.
18:19 June 7, 2011 by donniaahumanoid
@PawD, nature can't be controlled. Its not like every time it thunderstorms in Germany, well anywhere actaully, you know know what the outcome will be. Hurricanes, earthquakes, the damage will always be unexpected. You can't blame Germany for 'not handling' a 'simple' thunderstorm. Unless you were physically there, then you can't really say anything.
20:21 June 7, 2011 by PawD
Didn't the authorities ever hear of 'Climate Change' and an increase of 'Extreme Events'... the Govt. better get in touch with the climate scientists who they themselves fund!
13:14 June 8, 2011 by Thekla
@PawD, what an amazingly asinine comment. A 'simple' thunderstorm? Really? It may have been a simple thunderstorm in Hessen, where I'm located, but obviously if the airport and UBahn stations were flooded and closed, it was several degrees of magnitude worse in Hamburg. 1500 emergency calls in 3 hours is substantial. When I lived in the north years ago, we had storms, lost power and had trees down and roofs off, but this was obviously more significant. Perhaps you ought to consider relocating yourself to a truly 'developed' country where weather doesn't happen.
23:32 June 10, 2011 by nedmesis
Up in Sweden we got terribly sunny weather.
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