German storm generated three tornadoes, says weather service

More than 40 people were injured in the western city of Paderborn.

Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany
Two trucks overturned after a storm in Paderborn, Germany

A storm that swept across parts of Germany generated three tornadoes, the country’s weather service has said.

One of them left a trail of destruction and more than 40 people injured in a western city.

Meteorologists had warned of heavy rainfall, hail and strong gusts of wind in western and central Germany on Friday, and people in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia were advised to stay home.

Storms on Thursday had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees that toppled on to rail tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in western Germany.

A wall is missing in a chemical plant in Paderborn, German
Damage at a chemical plant in Paderborn (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

The German Weather Service confirmed three tornadoes in North Rhine-Westphalia – in Paderborn, in nearby Lippstadt, and on the edge of the town of Hoexter, news agency dpa reported.

Forty-three people were injured in Paderborn as the tornado tore across the city’s central area on Friday afternoon, 13 of them seriously, mayor Michael Dreier said.

Trees in a park and traffic lights “snapped like matches”, roofs were ripped off buildings and windows smashed, he told reporters on Saturday, and the storm left a roughly 300 metre-wide trail of destruction.

A tree hit the windscreen of a fire engine, but the occupants were not hurt.

Police urged people to stay home or stay out of the city on Saturday so as not to get in the way of recovery work.

They said they still expected possible risks from high wind.

A loaf of bread lies among the debris on the edge of a street in Paderborn, Germany
A loaf of bread lies among the debris on the edge of a street in Paderborn (Lino Mirgeler/dpa via AP)

Further south, authorities in Bavaria said 14 people were injured on Friday when the wooden hut they were trying to shelter in collapsed during a storm at Lake Brombach, south of Nuremberg.

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain was sweltering on Saturday under unusually high temperatures for late spring, with a mass of hot, dry air carrying dust from North Africa.

The mercury rose to 42.3C (108F) on Friday afternoon in Andujar, in the southern Andalucia region, after reaching 39.5C on Thursday.

Two of the region’s provincial capitals, Cordoba and Sevilla, also saw similar temperatures.

At least 13 regions were on alert on Saturday due to heat, Spain’s State Meteorological Agency AEMET said, and the temperatures could provoke storms in five of them.

The “unusual and extreme” temperatures are expected to peak on Saturday.

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