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15:16 19 February
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Deadly storm claims 8 lives in Germany


Deadly storm Friederike calmed on Friday after claiming at least eight lives, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported.

 

Storm Friederike, which swept across Germany from the west on Thursday, is the heaviest storm in the country since 2007, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

 

With maximum gale gusts of 203 km per hour in mountainous areas, the storm brought powerful winds, heavy rains and even snowfall to parts of Germany on Thursday, causing at least eight fatalities and many injuries.

 

A 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree near Emmerich, and a 68-year-old man in North Rhine-Westphalia lost control of his transporter in the strong winds and died.

 

In Thuringia, a firefighter was killed by a falling tree. A truck driver in Brandenburg died in a collision on an expressway caused by strong winds, and a member of the fire department died in a storm in Sundern.

 

Apart from the six deaths, two men from Saxony-Anhalt also fell victim to the powerful storm, the latest update by the DPA shows.

 

After the cancellation of all long-distance trains on Thursday due to safety reasons, German national railroad company Deutsche Bahn resumed operations of most local and long-distance trains Friday morning. However, travelers and commuters still have to adjust to train traffic restrictions.

 

At many stations, people stood in long lines in front of the information stands.

 

German Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere thanked the emergency services via Twitter and expressed his sympathy to the relatives of the victims.

 

At midnight, the DWD lifted the last severe weather warnings and forecast rain and heavy snowfall in the Alps for Friday.

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