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Frankfurt airport grinds to a halt as storms hit Germany

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Frankfurt airport grinds to a halt as storms hit Germany
Storms over Frankfurt saw flights grind to a halt at the city's airport on Thursday. Photo: DPA
12:11 CEST+02:00
Passengers have been left stranded as Frankfurt airport suspended all flights due to an approaching storm on Thursday, while the North Sea coastline is bracing itself for a potential hurricane.

Frankfurt airport ground to a halt for a second time in a week on Thursday, as an approaching storm front forced authorities to suspend all flights. 

All take-offs and landings were briefly suspended  on Thursday afternoon due to storms sweeping over Germany from the West.

Some planes stayed in the air until the storm had passed, a spokesperson for airport authorities said, adding that this was normal procedure in such weather conditions.

Activity on the ground was suspended due to the danger of lightning strikes on the airfield.

With the threat of flight cancellations looming over many passengers, Lufthansa moved swiftly to book up 3,000 hotel rooms. The airline estimated that around 40 flights and 6,000 passengers could be affected by the storms.

The Frankfurt fire service have also warned of severe winds in forest and parkland near and in the city.

The storm front which has been building over northern France could build into a hurricane which would reach Germany by Friday morning, Bild reported, with some models predicting winds of up to 150 km/h.

Meteorologist Dominik Jung from wetter.net told Bild that, even under more moderate predictions, the North Sea coast could see winds of 120 or 130 km/h, which would be classified as a hurricane on the Beaufort scale.

Storms are also set to hit the rest of the country, with the German Weather Service issuing warnings for North-Rhine Westphalia on Thursday.

“Streets could become flooded”, a DWD spokesperson said in Essen, and also warned of falling trees, hail and heavy rains.

Showers are predicted for the north and northwest at the weekend, as the long heatwave begins to abate in the coming days. While highs of 30 degrees will still be reached, the DWD said, there will not be another extended heatwave this summer.

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