• Germany's news in English

Dozens of seal pups missing after hurricane

The Local · 10 Dec 2013, 16:11

Published: 10 Dec 2013 16:11 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The island of Helgoland in the North Sea was home to 141 seal pups, 47 of which are missing since Xaver hit on Thursday. They are not expected to survive without their mothers.

Their mums are said to be hitching up and down beaches crying out to their lost babies, commissioner for nature protection on Helgoland Rolf Blädel said on Tuesday. “It was depressing,” he said, after making the grim discovery that only 94 of the previously-counted pups could be found.

Five mother seals are also missing, said Blädel, and their pups have been taken to a seal rescue centre on the nearby island of Friedsrichskoog.

CLICK HERE for pictures of remote Helgoland after the hurricane

Over on the Baltic cost, Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania saw 400,000 cubic metres of land blown away by 150 km/h winds last Thursday and Friday, Minister for the Environment Til Backhaus said on Monday. Total damages to the state stand at around €4 million ($5.5 million).

Juist, an island in the North Sea off the Lower Saxony coast, saw 25 metres of dunes blown into the sea, a spokeswoman from the state's coastal protection organization the NLWKN said. This was significantly more than other islands.

The loss was not unexpected, but in comparison to previous storms was “rather severe”, she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. Especially when taking other North Sea islands into consideration – Langeoog lost just two to four metres of its 350 metres of dunes.

Hurricane Xaver dislodged 500 cubic metres of debris into dykes in Juist which need to be cleared out.

Story continues below…

Juist's mayor Dietmar Patron told the Süddeutsche he was happy Germany received plenty of warning that there was about to be a storm. He said it allowed authorities to pay special attention to harbour areas, to ensure minimal damage was done there.

CLICK HERE for photos of Hurricane Xaver

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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd