Tuesday, 10 June 2014

At least six dead as storms batter North Rhine-Westphalia.

At least six people have died as storms battered the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia on 9-10 June 2014. Two men and a woman were killed in Duesseldorf, where a tree fell on a shed in which they were sheltering; two other people were injured in the same incident, while a sixth escaped unharmed. A f0-year-old man was reportedly killed when hit by debris from a tree that had been struck by lightning while cycling in Cologne, while another person died after being struck by a tree while cycling in Krefeld. The sixth person was killed in an accident during a clean-up operation in Essen. Road, rail and air transport has ben badly disrupted across the state, and authorities are advising against non-emergency travel to Dusseldorf. Heavy storm damage was also recorded in Lower Saxony, though there have been no reported casualties there, and severe storms were reported from central France to Denmark.

A garden shed in Dusseldorf that was struck by a tree while three people were sheltering inside, killing three and injuring two more. AP.

The storms came at the end of a heatwave over the weekend that saw temperatures rise as high as 36℃.  The storms were triggered by a cold front moving down from the North Sea; thunderstorms occur when warm, moist bodies of air encounter cooler, drier air packages. The warm air rises over the cooler air until it rises above its dew point (the point where it cools to far to retain its water content as vapor), and the water precipitates out, falling as rain, sleet or hail.

The locations of fatalities caused by this weeks storms in North Rhine-Westphalia. Google Maps.

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