Severe windstorm hits Germany and Poland, at least 8 people dead

Severe windstorm hits Germany and Poland, at least 8 people dead

A severe windstorm, named Xavier by the German Weather Service (DWD), hit parts of Germany and Poland on October 5, 2017, causing severe damage and leaving at least eight people dead.

DWD issued a Category 3 storm warnings, on a scale of 4, for much of northern and eastern Germany ahead of the storm. As the storm passed through the region, it produced wind gusts between 80 and 130 km/h, downing trees, damaging buildings and causing severe traffic chaos. 

Berliners packed into trams and underground services to escape the powerful gusts of wind flinging traffic signs and advertising billboards to the ground, The Local reported.

Within hours, the city's public transport system had been crippled. All bus services were stopped as of 17:00 local time, tram lines have also been affected, as well as underground services and a section of the A115 Autobahn leading out of the west of the city. At both Berlin airports, passengers were not allowed to leave their planes as a security precaution. Passengers were also not being permitted to board planes.

At least seven people died in Germany, four of them in their vehicles in Brandenburg. The other deaths occurred in Hamburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. 

After marching through Germany, the storm hit Poland where it killed at least one person by the end of the day.

Another cold front will hit Germany over the weekend and produce more rain.

Featured image credit: Hamburger Morgenpost

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