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WEATHER

Politicians debate ‘€30 billion’ fund to rebuild German flood zones

German politicians will discuss a potential €30 billion relief fund to for the reconstruction of flood-hit areas at a meeting between Angela Merkel and the state leaders on Tuesday.

Politicians debate '€30 billion' fund to rebuild German flood zones
Part of Bundestraße in Altenahr was completely swept away by the floods and will have to be rebuilt. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Frey

Mammoth construction projects in areas ravaged by July’s floods would financed half by the federal government and half by the states, according to a government paper obtained by DPA. 

Though the exact sums are likely to be thrashed out at Tuesday’s meeting between Merkel and the state premiers, a ballpark figure of €30 billion has so far been put on the table.

Now a rapid parliamentary resolution from the Bundestag and Bundesrat is urgently needed, North Rhine-Westphalia state premier and chancellor candidate Armin Laschet (CDU) said on Monday.

READ ALSO: Frontrunner to succeed Merkel calls for up to €30 billion to rebuild flood-hit German towns

Malu Dreyer, who serves as the state premier in flood-bit Rhineland-Palatinate, agreed. 

The Social Democratic Party (SPD) politician told the German Editorial Network on Tuesday that haste was the order of the day.

“People have been hit hard and need the security and confidence that they will not be left alone in the reconstruction process either,” Dreyer said, adding that there was a huge amount of solidarity between the federal and state governments. 

“The sooner the Bundestag and Bundesrat meet the better for the people in the disaster areas,” she said.

Improvements to warning systems up for discussion

According to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the damage to businesses in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate alone amounts to a billion euros.

Cautious estimates by local chambers of commerce and industry put the number of companies directly affected at more than 11,000.

“The amount of damage to buildings and machinery alone could exceed €3.5 billion,” they said.

READ ALSO: 

According to DPA, improvements to warnings for citizens are also set to be discussed on Tuesday.

These include a programme to upgrade sirens and a system that sends messages to mobile phone users similar to an SMS – to all those who are in the vicinity of a radio network at the time. This technology is already used in many other countries to warn against natural disasters such as floods.

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WEATHER

Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

An extreme heat warning was in place for eastern Germany on Monday, while storms were also set to hit the country.

Weather: Germany sees extreme heat and storms

The German Weather Service (DWD) said temperatures could reach 36C on Monday. 

In the morning, the DWD issued an extreme heat warning for eastern regions, as shown below in the map. 

Map of Germany shows the heat warning in the east on Monday June 27th.

Photo: German Weather Service (DWD)

Forecasters said later on Monday, the south and east of the country would be hit by thunderstorms as well as large hailstones, strong winds and heavy rain.

READ ALSO: Germany sees record temperatures

In the north, west and centre of Germany, forecasters predicted clouds and some showers. Over the course of Monday, heavy thunderstorms with heavy rain, hailstones and strong winds are also possible in the north.

“Thunderstorms have occurred in the past few days and will continue in the coming days, as the established weather situation will remain virtually unchanged,” said a spokesperson from the DWD. 

However, the large temperature differences are striking: in the west of Germany, the mercury will only reach just above 20C in places.

Overnight to Tuesday, the DWD predicts thunderstorms – some of them heavy – from the Baltic Sea to the Alps, and later there is set to be more showers. It could still reach 28C in some places, especially in the east.

The DWD said: “The risk of thunderstorms will remain in the southern half of the country, while the northern half will calm down after the last thunderstorms have moved to Poland.

“This will change again on Wednesday night, when showers and thunderstorms, some of them thundery, as well as heavy rain will make their way north. On Wednesday, it will be quite unsettled with muggy temperatures almost all over the country.”

Forecasters said the weather will remain changeable for the rest of the week, but it should become more settled from next weekend.

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