July 6, 2022

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Hurricane hits western German city;  Dozens injured

Hurricane hits western German city; Dozens injured

A tornado swept through the western German city of Paderborn on Friday, injuring dozens as it flew to rooftops, toppling trees and sending debris flying for miles, authorities said.

Forecasters warned that heavy rain and hail were expected in western and central Germany on Friday, with producing wind gusts of up to 130 kilometers per hour (81 miles per hour). Storms on Thursday already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that had fallen on railroads and roads and inundated hundreds of basements in western Germany.

Paderborn police said 43 people were injured in the storm. Thirty of them are receiving treatment in hospitals, and 10 of them are seriously injured.

Police said the woman’s condition was life-threatening.

They urged people to stay indoors so as not to impede rescue efforts or put themselves at risk.

Severe storm damage was also reported in the nearby town of Lipstadt. A church tower in the city has been toppled and more than 100 people were temporarily trapped in a local outdoor swimming pool after fallen trees blocked the exit, German news agency DPA reported.

The regional fire service said all available rescuers are being deployed to the area.

Authorities in Bavaria said 14 people were injured Friday when the wooden hut they were trying to house collapsed during a storm on Lake Brombach, south of Nuremberg. Among the wounded were several children and a 37-year-old woman, who were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

Two French nationals died after a motorized glider was blew by strong winds shortly after take-off on Thursday from an airport in Ballenstedt, 175 km (109 miles) southwest of Berlin, police said. Police in Saxony-Anhalt said the couple, both 59, were urged to land due to forecasts of a sudden change in weather.

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“It appears they were hit by a gust of wind that caused the glider to collapse, and the air vehicle crashed into a field from a height of about 40 meters (131 feet),” police said shortly after the warning.

Schools in the western city of Cologne closed before midday on Friday to give students time to return home safely before storms hit.

Further south in Ahrweiler County, all schools remained closed Friday. More than 130 people were killed in the area last summer after a flash flood hit it in July.

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