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WEATHER

Southeast braces for heavy rains and flooding

A broad swath of southeastern Germany has been warned to brace for potentially torrential rains and flooding for the rest of the week.

Southeast braces for heavy rains and flooding
Photo: DPA

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), parts of Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Brandenburg could see storms through Friday dropping 50 to 60 litres of rain per square metre at times – and up to 100 litres per square metre is possible at times.

Meteorologists expect the heavy rain to cause landslides and road flooding from overflowing creeks and steams. They also warned of severe winds.

“Near thunderstorms, strong and stormy gusts of wind are possible,” said DWD meteorologist Ansgar Engel in a statement.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

The storm front has already hit Bavaria, bringing rain and flooding. Violent wind gusts uprooted trees. Despite numerous calls for help, the damage in the capital Munich was relatively light, according to a police spokesman.

But it appears to have caused many more problems in the northern Bavarian city of Nuremberg, where hours of rain caused flooding and a major backup during the morning rush hour. The power also failed in part of the city, although it was unclear how many houses had been affected. Police said they had received 35 calls for help during the downpour which lasted from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Southern Germany has been repeatedly hit by nasty weather this summer.

Storms in Bavaria earlier this month prompted power outages and hundreds of phone calls to police to deal with rescues and flooded homes.

The Local/DPA/mdm

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OKTOBERFEST

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich’s Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

Around 700,000 people braved the wet and cold weather to attend the first weekend of the Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich, according to estimates by festival management.

IN PICTURES: First weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest sees around 700,000 visitors

That is significantly less than the around one million visitors seen in 2019, the last time the festival took place as the 2020 and 2021 editions were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

“We want the weather gods to remember what decent Wies’n [Oktoberfest] weather looks like,” festival head and CSU politician Clemens Baumgärtner said, German news agency DPA reported.

Man and woman in lederhosen at Oktoberfest

A man and a woman in traditional Lederhosen and Dirndl dresses arrive for the opening of the Oktoberfest beer festival at the Theresienwiese in Munich on September 17, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival opened on Saturday and the first guests were already queuing outside the entrances before sunrise to secure their spot at the front of a beer tent when the site was opened. The first tents closed their doors around noon.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants of the traditional costume parade of the Oktoberfest beer festival arrive on September 18, 2022.  (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

But the Schottenhamel tent (the oldest at the Oktoberfest) spokesperson, Christian Schottenhamel, said the numbers of people visiting the tents this year were similar to that seen in 2019, DPA said.

Oktoberfest costume parade

Participants dressed as fools perform during the festival’s traditional costume parade on September 18, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

He reported that the atmosphere was euphoric, with people just happy to be celebrating Oktoberfest again.

Oktoberfest beer tent visitors

The first visitors arrive and reserve places in a beer tent during the opening of the festival on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

The festival has attracted a mixed audience so far, including families with children and visitors from abroad, such as from the United States and France.

But the spokesperson for the smaller tents, Otto Lindinger, said the audience was getting younger, noting strong demand for meat-free dishes, although the Oktoberfest chicken was said to still be a hit.

Visitors celebrate at Oktoberfest

Visitors jostle for a Maß in a beer tent at the Oktoberfest on September 17, 2022. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

Over on the south side of the festival area, head of the museum tent Yvonne Heckl described the atmosphere in the traditional ‘Oide Wies’n’, or old Oktoberfest, area as “chilled and calm”.

The festival lasts until October 3rd, as German Unity Day falls on the Monday after the last Oktoberfest Sunday.

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