Tenth of Hanover’s population faces evacuation after bomb find

Tenth of Hanover's population faces evacuation after bomb find
Unexploded WWII bombs found near Potsdam. Photo: DPA
One of the biggest evacuations in post-war history could be about to take place in Hanover, after police have found several Second World War bombs in the capital of Lower Saxony.

Explosives experts are currently exploring the area to assess how many bombs are buried there, a process which will take until Easter, Thomas Bleicher from the unexploded ordnance authority said.

Authorities aim to defuse the bombs in sequence on the same day in order to limit the inconvenience to the public.

But the disruption is still set to be considerable, with the Neue Presse reporting that 50,000 of the city’s half a million residents will be asked to leave their homes.

The affected area surrounds the Vahrenwald in the north of the city. Further information on the evacuation will be released next week, but NDR reports that May 7th has been pencilled in as the day of the evacuation.

The largest evacuation in post-war Germany took place in Augsburg on Christmas Eve last year when 54,000 people had to leave their homes after a 3.8 tonne British-made bomb was found during building work.

Unexploded Second World War bombs are regularly found during building work in German cities, leading to precautionary evacuations.