A storm that hit parts of Germany produced three tornadoes, the country’s weather service said on Saturday. One of them left a trail of destruction in the western city and injured more than 40 people.
Meteorologists warned of heavy rain, 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 indoors. Thursday’s storm had already disrupted traffic, uprooted trees on railway tracks and roads, and flooded hundreds of basements in West Germany.
The German weather service confirmed three tornadoes in North Rhine-Westphalia – in Paderborn, in nearby Lipstadt and off the edge of the town of Hoxter, news agency DPA reported.
Mayor Michael Dreyer said 43 people were injured in Paderborn, 13 of them seriously, as a tornado hit the city’s downtown area on Friday afternoon.
Trees and stop lights in a park were “broken like matches”, roofs of buildings cracked and windows shattered, and the storm left a nearly 300-metre-wide trail of destruction, he told reporters on Saturday. A tree hit the windshield of a fire truck, but the occupants were not hurt.
Police urged people to stay at home or out of town on Saturday so that recovery work is not hampered. He said he still expected a potential risk from the strong wind.
Further south, officials in Bavaria said on Friday 14 people were injured while they were trying to take shelter in a wooden hut during a storm in Lake Brombach, south of Nuremberg.
Elsewhere in Europe, Spain was warming Saturday under unusually high temperatures for late spring, with a mass of dusty warm, dry air pouring in from North Africa.
The mercury in Andujar in the southern Andalusia region rose to 42.3 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) on Friday afternoon, reaching 39.5 degrees Celsius on Thursday. The region’s two provincial capitals, Cordoba and Seville, also saw similar temperatures.
Spain’s state meteorological agency AEMET said at least 13 regions were on alert on Saturday because of the heat and that temperatures could spark a storm in five of them. “Unusual and extreme” temperatures are expected to peak on Saturday.