• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hurricane Xaver hits northern Germany

DPA/The Local · 5 Dec 2013, 09:45

Published: 05 Dec 2013 09:45 GMT+01:00

Almost all flights meant to leave and arrive at Hamburg airport did not, schools closed and ships stayed in harbour ahead of the bad weather with wind speeds of 140 km/h expected. Companies across the hit areas have sent staff home, Welt newspaper reported.

By the afternoon, winds of 140 km/h were howling down the coast, where children largely did not go to school. Schools as far south as Berlin - three hours inland - were sending pupils home early.

The entire train network in Schleswig-Holstein had been shut down, as was motorways A7. Some towns on exposed bits of coast, like Borkum, have advised residents to seek higher ground, Welt newspaper reported.

CLICK HERE for photos of the storm

The DWD issued an extreme weather warning for the states of Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bremen. Travelling from Greenland – Xaver has already hit Scotland, leaving large areas without electricity and killed one person.

Storm “Xaver” will be longer and more intense than “Christian” which hit in October and in Hamburg, coastal workers are preparing for a six metre surge in water levels – this would go straight over storm barriers.

Fire brigades have been going between houses since 7am advising people to secure their windows and doors. Cars should also be parked somewhere safe and any furniture on balconies and terraces stacked away.

Anyone in the area should try to stay at home and avoid narrow streets and forests.

Schools as well as Christmas markets in both Kiel and Hamburg are shut, as are visitor attractions and cathedrals. As of 10am, Chemnitz in Saxony – miles from the most intense weather, said it would also close theirs, just to be safe.

Leipzig Christmas market was also shut on Thursday afternoon. 

Esther Carretero, 45, who lives in the centre of Hamburg with her three children and husband, said people had been leaving work early and were following advice to stay indoors.

"It is really dark and very windy," she told The Local on Thursday afternoon. "There were not many people around today."

Ferries leaving from Kiel harbour going to Denmark and Scandinavia are, for the time being, staying in port because of very high tides and huge waves.

The storm is expected to hit at high tide leading to fears of a repeat of the floods which devastated Hamburg in 1962. Police removed eight surfers who were riding waves on the Alster river. They face fines.

Temperatures are, the DWD said, expected to plummet overnight and northern Germany will freeze – meaning potentially treacherous icy conditions on Friday morning.

The south of the country will also experience gale-force blasts, especially in the mountains, although this will not be as bad as in the north, which will have to wait until Friday for the wild weather to calm down.

READ MORE: Snow, sleet and storms welcome December

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd