At least three people have been killed and more than 50 were injured on May 20, 2022, when a violent storm named ‘Emmelinde’ hit Germany, spawning several tornadoes and leaving widespread damage.
One of the tornadoes hit the city of Paderborn in Germany’s most populous state – North Rhine-Westfalia, Friday evening, leaving a path of destruction and injuring 43 people, 10 of them seriously.
“Sheeting and insulation were blown kilometers away. Countless roofs are uncovered or damaged. Many trees still lie on destroyed cars,” police said.1
The twister also hit the nearby town of Lippstadt where more than 100 people were temporarily trapped at a local outdoor pool after fallen trees blocked the exit.
“The entire town area suffered heavy damage,” Lippstadt’s fire service said.
In both cities, windows burst and cars were destroyed by falling branches.2
The Altenbeken municipality near Paderborn reported that some of the trees snapped at the trunk – as if hit by a giant’s hand.
In the Hellinghausen district of Lippstadt, the top of St. Clemenskirche fell to the ground and was destroyed.
A spokesman for the NRW Ministry of the Interior said that in addition to Paderborn and Lippstadt, no other places were known that had been hit similarly.
A 38-year-old man in the town of Wittgery died of head injuries when he fell after suffering an electric shock in a flooded cellar.3
Two people died in Ballenstedt, Saxony-Anhalt after a strong wind gust caught their motorized paraglider at a height of about 40 m (131 feet) and crashed it to the ground.
There were several other tornado reports Friday, including one in the Netherlands, close to the German border and three in Germany, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.4
Meteorologists said the extreme weather was caused by hot air coming from Africa meeting relatively cooler air moving down from northern Europe.
1 Germany: Tornado causes major damage in western towns – DW – May 20, 2022
2 Tornado hits Paderborn with full force: Emergency services continuously on duty throughout the night – Westfalen-Blatt – May 20/21, 2022
3 One killed, 40 injured, as suspected tornado hits Germany – Reuters – May 20, 2022
4 A tornado swept through Paderborn, Germany, and injured at least 30 people, authorities said – CNN – May 20, 2022
Featured image credit: westfalen-blatt (stillshot)
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