Fresh hurricane-force winds hit Germany as storm Antonia rages through country

World Monday 21/February/2022 18:04 PM
By: DW
Fresh hurricane-force winds hit Germany as storm Antonia rages through country

Germany was hit by hurricane-force winds and thunderstorms on Sunday night as storm Antonia raged through the country — the third severe weather event in less than a week.

Previously, Storms Yleniaand Zeynep left about €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion) damage in their wake and killed at least six people in Germany.

Antonia is now estimated to have caused a further €100 million in damages, according to insurance company Aon.

What was the impact of Storm Antonia?

Antonia caused further damage to rail infrastructure and disruptions to services, with the German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, shutting down its regional services in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday evening. The company said on Monday that cancellations and delays were still to be expected on several services in the state during the morning.

Firefighting services in several German cities were called out amid damage to houses and fallen trees. In Worms in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, authorities said several parked cars and buildings had been damaged by falling rafters from another building.

In Herdecke in North Rhine-Westphalia, the roof of an apartment building was blown off, hitting the roof of another building and spreading debris on the street. No injuries were reported.

On Monday, the famous fish market in the Altona district of Hamburg was reported to have been flooded by a storm surge caused by Antonia.

Hurricane-like gusts of wind

The German Weather Service (DWD) had issued a red alert for gale force winds of up 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) for pockets of mostly western and southern Germany, but also along the Baltic Sea coast.

An orange alert for winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour was issued for the rest of the country, with stronger hurricane-like gusts at times.

Several flights were redirected from Dusseldorf International and Weeze Airport to other nearby airports in Germany due to the strong winds.

The storm, under its international name of Franklin, also hit the UK and Ireland on Sunday.

Some parts of Northern Ireland saw severe flooding. More than 150 flood warnings have also been issued across northern England, particularly for Yorkshire and Manchester . Hundreds of people in Manchester were evacuated as a precaution.

Cleanup from earlier storms continues

More than a dozen people were killed by Zeynep, known as Eunice outside Germany, which struck Ireland, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Friday and Saturday.

Storm Ylenia, also known as Dudley, landed in Germany a day earlier, also causing considerable damage.

In Germany, repair teams were still working on Sunday to repair overhead rail lines and remove fallen trees from Zeynep.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn warned that around 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of the network remained impassable.

"Currently, we are running about three-quarters of long-distance services," rail spokesman Achim Stauss said on Sunday evening.

The storm prompted the company to cancel long-distance trains between Hamburg and Rostock, Berlin and Rostock, and between Norddeich Mole/Emden and Cologne, among others.

More than 1.3 million people were left without power in Britain and Poland, with energy firms still racing to restore supply to tens of thousands of homes on Sunday.