Savage storms caused €650m of damage
Storms in June which ripped through parts of western and central Germany caused €650 million worth of damage, according to estimates released on Wednesday.
The storm, which killed six people when it hit North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Lower Saxony on June 9th and 10th this year, could prove to be the second most expensive in the past 15 years.
In the western city of Düsseldorf, authorities estimate the hail, high winds and rain caused €63.8 million in damages, Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Last year's summer floods and storms, which caused €1.9 billion worth of damage, had topped the figure this century, Bernhard Gause of the German insurers association GDV told the Rheinische Post.
June's storm prompted a total of 250,000 different damage claims from private homes and businesses worth a total €400 million, GDV said. A further 100,000 claims worth €250 million were registered with state-owned insurers Kfz.
PHOTO GALLERY: Storms hit western Germany
Further storms are forecast for this week. On Tuesday evening four people were injured when a fire broke out in a house in northern Germany after the roof was struck by lightning.
Lightning hit the roof of the family home in the town of Elmshorn in Schleswig Holstein, sparking a fire that caused over €100,000 worth of damage, the fire service said on Wednesday.
The inhabitants, a family of five, were able to escape the flames. But four people, including a neighbour and two firemen, were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation and other minor injuries.
The fire service succeeded in putting out the blaze by Tuesday night, but not before tens of thousands of euros worth of damage had been done.