- Joseph Lee
- BBC News
German police reported that 43 people were injured in a hurricane that hit the west of the country, causing severe material damage in the center of the Rhineland province of North Westphalia.
Police in the city of Paderborn confirmed that the cyclone caused the roofs of buildings to collapse and scattered debris several kilometers away.
As a result, ten people were seriously injured, according to the authorities.
A 38-year-old man was also killed in severe storms that hit the area on Friday.
German police published pictures of the scale of the destruction, as trees fell, some of which were cut in half, and the panels and tiles covering the roofs fell, while pictures on social media showed a column of hurricane winds rotating strongly and in the middle of which some buildings were destroyed.
The city of Paderborn was hit hard by the cyclone, and its population of 150,000 people suffered losses, and police said that “metal plates, insulation materials and other things flew from the roofs and reached several kilometers. Many roofs of houses were badly damaged. Many trees are still lying on destroyed cars.”
And local media quoted police as saying that the 38-year-old man died in the town of Wittgert, 180 km southwest of Paderborn.
Police revealed that the victim died after being electrocuted in a flooded basement.
A spokesman for the fire department told AFP that the town of Lipstadt, about 30 km from Paderborn, was also in the cyclone circle, but no injuries were reported.
Pictures on social media from the nearby town of Hellinghausen showed the dome of the church tower had been torn off and the rubble of the roof was scattered in the churchyard.
Chris Fox, from the BBC’s meteorology department, said Germany usually sees several hurricanes a year, but most of them are short-lived and do not cause much damage.
He added that the number of hurricanes reported in Europe has increased in recent years, but it is largely believed that this is a result of the increasing accuracy of weather forecasts, in addition to the ease of promoting their news through social media and the high level of awareness of the population.
“We don’t know yet if climate change is playing a role in the hurricanes that happen here,” Fox said.
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