Storm and tornado in western Germany: one death and nearly 60 injured

Sylvie Claire / May 21, 2022

The storm that swept across Germany on Friday left at least one person dead, nearly 60 injured and caused extensive damage, mainly in the west of the country, local authorities said on Saturday.
  
In Rhineland-Palatinate, a 38-year-old man died after suffering an electric shock when he entered a flooded cellar due to bad weather, and fell on his head, said the police in Koblenz.
  
North Rhine-Westphalia was particularly hard hit: a tornado passed through Paderborn injuring 43 people, 10 of them seriously, the police of this city of some 150,000 inhabitants said on Saturday.
 
Thirty of them were treated in hospital, a woman is in danger of death, she detailed. The police have evaluated at several million euros the devastation caused by the tornado.
 
This rare and localized phenomenon would have also hit the town of Lippstadt, about 30 kilometers away, according to a spokesman for the fire department, but without causing any injuries.
  
The bad weather, which came after several days of unseasonably high temperatures in the country, caused extensive damage in this region of western Germany, with police reporting countless uprooted trees, torn roofs and devastated stores. Rail and road traffic remained disrupted Saturday morning.
  
In the south, in the Roth region, a wooden hut where hikers had taken refuge collapsed. Fourteen people were injured, including a woman and a child seriously, said the local Bavarian police. 
  
The German weather service lifted most storm warnings on Saturday, but warned of the risk of isolated severe thunderstorms in Bavaria and strong wind gusts in the east.
  
The violence of the storm on Friday is linked to the arrival in Germany of particularly warm air from Spain and France, on the one hand, and cold air from the north on the other hand, explained the meteorologist Özden Terli.
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