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Weather Chaos : Heavy Storm Rocks Germany, Several Injured

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Several people were injured in a storm that swept across northern Germany after a week of exceptional heat that has forced German authorities to impose emergency measures.

People were injured by falling trees in a storm dubbed “Nadine” that brought wind speeds of up to 140 kilometres per hour to areas around Hanover and over the North Sea, according to the German weather service DWD.

The storm severely disrupted travel late Thursday and early Friday, forcing stranded passengers to spend the night in emergency accommodation in train stations including Hanover, Dortmund and Braunschweig.

Flights to and from Frankfurt airport, Germany’s biggest, were disrupted for about half an hour on Thursday due to the oncoming storm.

Firefighters resumed their efforts on Friday to douse a fire that broke out the day before in a wooded area in upper Bavaria.

Authorities in the city of Rosenheim declared a state of emergency on Thursday as some 200 firefighters battled the blaze on an incline near the Schwarzenberg mountain.

A fire brigade spokesman said Friday that the firefighting efforts had been interrupted during the night, but that the brigade had monitored the fire and the embers, which stretched across a 150,000-square-metre area.

With the terrain being so steep and the wind so unpredictable, firefighters could only try to put the fire out from the air on Thursday, using helicopters and water containers.

Nearby hiking paths on Schwarzenberg were evacuated and smoke clouds were visible from kilometres away.

A smaller fire in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern prompted the evacuation of more than 100 residents of two small villages, but rainfall early Friday helped to contain the fire.

Despite the fact that a heatwave sweeping across Germany reached its peak this week and temperatures are due to drop below 30 degrees Celsius, the drought in the country has not let up.

Authorities in Kassel threatened to impose a 50,000-euro (57,000-dollar) fine on anyone who removed water from the region’s lakes and rivers, saying that it would threatened the animals living inside the bodies of water.

According to a poll conducted on behalf of public broadcaster ZDF, 68 per cent of Germans believe the weather chaos currently plaguing the country is a result of climate change, while 28 per cent say it is normal weather fluctuation.



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