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STORM

IN PICTURES: High winds, torrential rain and snow hit Germany

A storm has left a trail of destruction across Germany, and now there's snow too. We show you how it's affecting the country.

IN PICTURES: High winds, torrential rain and snow hit Germany
People battle through the snow storm in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

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From fallen trees blocking train lines and roads, to electricity being cut off, storm “Eberhard” has caused havoc throughout Germany. Gusts of up to 164 km/h were recorded by forecasters on Sunday, accompanied by rain and snow.

SEE ALSO: Travel chaos as deadly storm hits Germany

One person, a 47-year-old man, is known to have died in the storm after a tree fell on his car on Sunday while he was driving near Bestwig in Sauerland.  

Train services have also been affected with many being cancelled or delayed, while roads across the country have been blocked by trees. 

Now a rush of cold air is causing heavy snow showers.

In Müngersdorf in Cologne, onlookers witnessed a lucky escape for those travelling in this car.

The clean up is getting underway in Dresden, Saxony. Here a tree lies next to a bus stop. Photo: DPA

Damage in front of a nursery in Rhineland Palatinate is shown by this Twitter user.

Below, firefighters deal with a tree that has fallen onto a road in Zwönitz, Saxony. Photo: DPA

The plaster of a multi-storey apartment building in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia, lies in front of the entrance in this DPA picture, below.
 
 
Twitter users reported that threatening weather was still around on Monday. “Dark clouds” after the storm in Cologne. 
The storm also hit the east. In Chemnitz, Saxony, part of the roof of a nursing home was blown off onto a neighbouring building. Photo: DPA.
 
 
Lots of cars were destroyed in the storm.

In Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the roof of a residential property was blown down, as this Twitter picture shows. Luckily, no one was reportedly injured.

Politicians thanked emergency crews for their work. Malu Dreyer, state premier of Rhineland Palatinate, said thanks to all the emergency services and volunteers who helped clear roads during the storm.

The storm caused huge disruption to the rail network, as well as the roads. In the below DPA picture, a fallen tree lies on a line near Dormagen, North Rhine-Westphalia.

 
 
Passengers are shown looking at the departure boards in Cologne main station in this DPA photo, below. The storm meant there were lots of cancellations on Sunday and disruption on Monday too, leaving many people stranded.
 
 
In Düsseldorf there was also chaos at transport hubs such as the main station, Twitter users reported. 
Experts have been working to repair train lines, like this photo from Düsseldorf shows, since late Sunday night.
It's not just strong gusts and rain that have hit Germany — the snow has arrived too. In Munich on Monday morning, there was lots of icy weather to contend with. Photo: DPA
 
 
At a golf club in Kassel, Hesse, 17 trees were overturned in the storm (and covered in snow).
Winter scenes were captured in the Naturpark Fichtelgebirge, in Bavaria.
 
The stormy and cold weather is expected to continue Monday but will calm down on Tuesday according to forecasters. The weather this week will, however, remain changeable with rain expected, according to forecasts.
 

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WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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