Three tornadoes that struck western Germany on Saturday left at least one person dead and many others injured. The incident occurred as extreme weather in Europe was also threatening Europe.
One of the tornadoes left “a picture of horror” on Friday in Paderborn, Germany, the city’s mayor, Michael Dreier, told reporters on Saturday. Strong winds and torrential rainfalls caused flooding to rise and destroyed buildings. At least 43 people were injured in the storm, some seriously, a statement from the city’s police said.
“An unspeakable tornado raged over Paderborn and destroyed parts of the city very badly,” according to Mr. Dreier. He said that trees had been snapped into matchsticks and that residential buildings had been left uninhabitable.
A 38-year old man was killed in Wittgert in far-western Germany after he fell in his basement. It had flooded during the storms. Local media reported that he had been struck by an electric shock, most likely his head, and that he couldn’t be revived.
The storm system was expected to dissipate on Saturday, Germany’s weather service said, but the police in some areas urged residents to remain home, saying that strong winds continued to pose a danger to the public.
A heat wave that was unusually early was driving temperatures up in Europe’s south on Saturday. It was creating extreme heat in Spain and France, and was making it the hottest May ever recorded, meteorologists reported. This is a sign of what might come this summer.
Experts have identified climate change as one of the drivers behind the intensifying heat wave and storms in Europe over recent years. Although it is difficult to link individual weather events with climate change.
Rare deadly flooding last year in Germany and Belgium — after both countries saw record rainfall — was made more likely by climate change, scientists have said.
Officials in Spain have warned residents to keep hydrated and avoid hot areas this weekend. The state weather forecaster for Spain has also predicted a heat wave. Temperatures are expected to rise by 10 degrees Celsius (or 50 degrees Fahrenheit) in some parts of the country. This includes the southern region of Andalusia, where temperatures could reach 107 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hot air currents from North Africa are driving heat waves to break records in the Andalusian city of Jaén, which on Friday recorded its hottest May day ever (40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit), Spain’s state meteorological agency said.
France and Italy are also experiencing heat waves earlier than expected this month, which meteorological specialists say could break spring weather records.
Source: NY Times