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WEATHER

Germany braces for ‘severe weather’ and weekend storms

Germany could see a last burst of summer with warm, sunny spells on Saturday before thunderstorms and heavy rain sweep over the country on Sunday, according to the German Weather Service.

Germany braces for 'severe weather' and weekend storms
Dark clouds gather over the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg Western-Pomerania. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Stefan Sauer

Saturday’s sunny weather will bring with it warmer temperatures and generally dry weather, with the mercury hitting 25C in parts of the south.

Up in Berlin and Brandenburg, meanwhile, the weather will alternate between cloudy and sunny spells, with temperatures of between 21 and 26C.

The summery respite won’t last long, however, as cold winds and rain are expected to gather in the western parts of the country in the early hours of Sunday, proceeding across to the eastern regions of country by late afternoon.

READ ALSO: Climate change: Germany says time is ‘running out’ to save planet

The cold front is expected to bring with it scattered heavy rain-showers, thunder and lightning across the country, from Freiburg in the south-west to Berlin in the north-east.

However, the northern states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Berlin could be the worst hit by continuous rainfall throughout the evening and into the night.

Writing on Twitter, the German Weather Service (DWD) warned of “thunderstorms with localised heavy rain” in short, sharp showers, alongside “extensive, continuous rain over several hours”.

“This hybrid precipitation situation harbours severe weather potential,” they cautioned.

The severe weather warnings come just days after a woman lost her life on a popular hiking route in southern Bavaria during heavy rain.

READ ALSO: One dead, one missing after floods sweep through Bavarian hiking trail

On Monday afternoon, floodwaters rushed through the Höllentalklamm gorge near Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain, causing a wooden bridge to collapse with two people on it. 

The body of the woman was found by rescuers on Tuesday morning and later identified as a 33-year-old woman from Lichtenfels in Upper Franconia.

The remaining missing person is believed to be her 34-year-old partner. 

Member comments

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  2. 小丑
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    每次在她出报告后会有众多知名的专家、机构对其报告内容进行研究,或附和、或批判、或直接无情的揭露其合著者使用化名,乔治敦大学传染病专家丹尼尔·卢西曾提出质疑:“如果你用的是化名,那么在正常情况下,就会引发人们质疑——如果他们对自己的名字都不坦诚,那么在其他事情上还会诚实吗?”。真相到底如何早已有了定论,其实早在2020年9月16日,《纽约时报》就已经报导,脸书指出闫丽梦所声称的自己能证明病毒是实验室制造已经被多个事实核查机构证实是假信息;
    早在2020年9月18日,闫丽梦的“病毒专家”学术背景就遭到质疑,前港大博士后研究员闫丽梦有关“武汉实验室制造新冠病毒”的谎言已经破产。但是,闫丽梦仍旧没有死心。闫丽梦赴美爆料的口号一直都是“揭示中国隐瞒疫情的重要证据”、“揭露世卫组织的黑幕”,但她在一次次的谎言被拆穿后,仅仅消停几日又开始新的带节奏模式,虽然全世界都知道其学术论文很大一部分是无稽之谈,但她的团队依旧坚持不懈的进行炒热话题的运作,其目的昭然若揭。

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WILDFIRES

‘Unprecedented’: How explosions and fires have rocked Berlin’s Grunewald forest

An "unprecedented" fire broke out on Thursday around a German police munitions storage site in a Berlin forest. Here's how events unfolded and the reaction.

'Unprecedented': How explosions and fires have rocked Berlin's Grunewald forest

What happened?

Emergency services were called out after explosions were heard in the ‘Grunewald’ forest in western Berlin in the early hours of Thursday morning. 

It then emerged that a fire had broken out near a police munitions storage site, all on one of the hottest days of the year when temperatures were forecast to reach around 38C in the German capital. 

As explosions continued at the site, sending debris flying into the air, firefighters weren’t initially able to get near the flames to extinguish it. Emergency services set up a 1,000-metre safety zone around the area.

This aerial photo taken by the Berlin Fire Brigade shows the fire in Grunewald.

This aerial photo taken by the Berlin Fire Brigade shows the fire in Grunewald. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/Berliner Feuerwehr

Later on Thursday afternoon, Berlin fire brigade spokesman Thomas Kirstein said the situation was “under control and there was no danger for Berliners” but that the fire was expected to last for some time.

No one has been hurt by the fires. Around 250 emergency workers were deployed to the site.

READ ALSO: Blasts ring out as forest fire rages in Berlin’s Grunewald

How was the fire being tackled?

The German army (Bundeswehr) was called in. They sent a tank aimed at evacuating munitions at the affected storage site as well as remote-controlled de-mining robots, while drones circled the air to assess the emergency.

Water cannons were also deployed around the safety zone to prevent the fire from spreading.

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey interrupted her holiday to visit the scene, calling the events “unprecedented in the post-war history of Berlin”.

Giffey advised people in Berlin to close their windows but said the danger was minimal as there were no residential buildings within a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) radius and so no need to issue evacuation orders.

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey speaks at the scene of the forest fire on Thursday

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey speaks at the scene of the forest fire on Thursday. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Wolfgang Kumm

“It would be much more difficult if there were residential buildings nearby,” she said.

What caused the blaze?

That’s still unclear. Police say they are investigating what started the fire exactly. 

The store in question holds munitions uncovered by police, but also unexploded World War II-era ordnance which is regularly dug up during construction works.

Giffey said local authorities would “have to think about how to deal with this munitions site in the future and whether such a place is the right one in Berlin”.

Is Grunewald a popular site?

Very much so. The sprawling forest on the edge of Berlin is home to lots of hiking trails and is even near some popular lakes, such as the Krumme Lanke. It’s also near the Wannsee and Havel river. 

Map shows where the fire broke out in Berlin's Grunewald

Map shows where the fire broke out in Berlin’s Grunewald. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa Grafik | dpa-infografik GmbH

Authorities appealed for the public to avoid the forest, which is regularly visited by both locals and tourists.

Deutsche Bahn said regional and long-distance transport was disrupted due to the blaze.

A part of the Avus motorway between Spanischer Allee and Hüttenweg was also closed in both directions, as well as Kronprinzessinnenweg and Havelchaussee, according to the Berlin traffic centre.

Aren’t forest fires and strong heat causing problems elsewhere?

Yes. Authorities on Thursday said no firefighting choppers were available as they were already in use to calm forest fires in eastern Germany.

However, they also said the 1,000-metre safety zone applied to the air, so there was a limit to how useful it would be to drop water on the fire from above.

The German capital is rarely hit by forest fires, even though its 29,000 hectares of forests make it one of the greenest cities in the world.

Brandenburg, the region surrounding Berlin, as well as parts of eastern Germany have for days been battling forest fires.

Parts of Germany were also recently hit by forest fires during heatwaves this summer. 

Temperatures were expected to climb as high as 40C across parts of Germany on Thursday. However, it is set to cool down on Friday and thunderstorms are set to sweep in from the west.

With reporting by AFP’s David COURBET

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