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WEATHER

How to keep cool during Germany’s heatwave

With the mercury expected to reach 37C in some parts of the country on Monday, here are our top tips for staying cool, and hydrated.

How to keep cool during Germany's heatwave
People cool off by jumping into a lake in Radebeul, Saxony. Photo: DPA
All of Germany will be met with sweltering heat this week, following a weekend of record temperatures for 2020.
 

Amid the high heat, here on some tips for staying as cool and hydrated as possible.

Drink water
 
It might sound obvious, but be sure to drink plenty of water – even when you're not thirsty. It's recommended that you drink at least somewhere between 1.5 and 2 litres per day. 
 
And to avoid dehydration stay off the alcohol. Yes, that even includes beer and the Aperol Spritz sold as a popular patio drink at many cafes around Germany.
 
Tea, coffee, and alcohol all act as diuretics, meaning they will leave you dehydrated.
 
A woman in Kempten, Bavaria downs water in order to stay cool. Photo: DPA
 
Stay inside
 
Try and avoid going outside between the hours of 11 am and 9 pm. If you have to, then be sure to wear light clothes, preferably cotton as it lets your skin breathe. In some cases, you might even be exempt from skipping school or work when the heat hinders your ability to properly learn or concentrate.
 
 
Shut the blinds
 
On the home front, keep the blinds closed throughout the hottest hours of the day and overnight – lest you fancy being woken up by daylight between 4:45 and 5:15 am, when the sun rises throughout Germany.
 
When the temperature outside drops below that of your home, open the windows and doors to get some fresh air in there.  
 
Douse yourself in water
 
There are plenty of ways to stay hydrated besides just drinking water and taking showers and baths. Filling a bucket with water for your feet or placing a wet or damp towel on your head and shoulders can make a big difference. Even a little spray with water can keep you feeling fresh. 
 
Despite a lifeguard shortage in many parts of the country, there are still several public pools – not to mention wonderful lakes – which are worth taking a dip in. In the summer, many have hours upwards of 10 p.m.
 
 
Get rid of the extra heat
 
If you're at home, turn off the big lights, only use your laptop if you have to, and eat cold meals rather than using the oven. 
 
Don't do outdoor sports (except swimming)
 
Skip your typical afternoon run and say no to your football teammates – it's best not to over-exert yourself at all. Even going outside to do the gardening is unadvised.
 
 
Be aware of the risks
 
You might be in peak physical form, but not everyone else is. Remember that children under the age of four and the elderly are the most at risk when the heat strikes.
 
Stay in the coolest parts of the house
 
Be sure to find the coolest part of the house and make sure that's the area you stay in. If your place has no air-conditioning, nor an electric fan, then you're advised to head somewhere like a cinema or a shopping centre.
 
Even if you're not feeling the full heat yet, stock up on a fan. Not surprisingly, they sell out quickly in the summer months. Many people turn to online retailers instead: on Monday, an electric fan was the the number three most purchased electronic device on Amazon.de.
 
Recognize symptoms of heat-related illnesses
 
If you or someone close to you is complaining of cramps, headaches, dizziness, or has a fever of over 38C, this is a clear sign they're suffering from the heat. Keep the person cool and call emergency services for help. 
 
Don't forget your furry friends
 
Your pets also suffer from intense heat, so make sure you think of them too. Be sure to keep an eye on them, give them plenty of water, and the occasional cool bath.

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WEATHER

Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

Almost 40 people were injured, several seriously, on Friday in a suspected tornado which hit the western German city of Paderborn, the police and fire brigade said.

Tornado in western Germany injures dozens

A police spokesman said the tornado also caused significant damage in the city in the North Rhine-Westphalia state, following abnormally high temperatures for the time of year.

The city’s fire department said on Twitter that “38 injured people, including some gravely” had been taken to hospital. The police said one person was fighting for their life.

Paderborn, fire service added, “Please do not drive to Paderborn on your own without prior agreement of help. If necessary, further units of the fire brigade will be alerted and called in.”

In neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state, a 38-year-old man died after he was electrocuted when he entered his flooded basement and fell on his head, the police in the city of Koblenz said.

Railway travel was disrupted in the west of the country, as police called on people to remain indoors.

In Paderborn, police estimated the damage caused by the tornado at “several million” euros.

The spokesman reported “roofs torn off, windows shattered and numerous trees uprooted throughout the city”.

View of destroyed cars on a street. A tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022.

View of destroyed cars on a street after a tornado caused massive damage in Paderborn and Lippstadt on Friday 20th May 2022. Photo: Picture Alliance/Dpa/Friso Gentsch
 

Images posted on social media showed the tornado column progressing towards homes, sweeping away trees and building sections. Other pictures from the wider region showed cars that had been upturned.

The town of Lippstadt, about 30 kilometres away (18 miles), was also probably hit by a tornado, a fire department spokesperson said, though no injuries had been recorded. The steeple of the church in Lippstadt had been destroyed by the high winds.

People stand in front of the St. Clemens Catholic Church in Hellinghausen near Lippstadt, the top of which was destroyed. A suspected tornado caused massive damage in Lippstadt on Friday 21st May 2022. Photo: Picture alliance/DPA/Friso Gentsch
 

German meteorological services had put out a storm warning for Friday and predicted gales of up to 130 km/h (80 miles/h) in some places.

The bad weather first hit the west of the country and was set to travel eastwards.
  

 
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