Storm Friederike batters Germany with hurricane-strength winds

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-19 00:27:05|Editor: Yurou
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Photo taken on Jan. 18, 2018 shows collapsed roofs on a road in Menden, Germany, on Jan. 18, 2018. Storm "Friederike" brought powerful winds, heavy rain, and snowfall to parts of Germany on Thursday, causing at least three fatality and severe disruption to railway lines. (Xinhua/Joachim Bywaletz)

BERLIN, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Storm Friederike brought powerful winds, heavy rain, and snowfall to parts of Germany on Thursday, causing at least one fatality and severe disruption to railway lines.

A 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree and several people were injured in similar incidents throughout the country following the arrival of storm in the morning.

Trains ceased operation in the states of North-Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony, leaving many passengers stranded. Furthermore, travel speeds of trains in other parts of Germany were slowed considerably in reaction to hurricane-strength gusts.

So far, extreme wind strengths of up to 130 km per hour have been measured at higher elevations of Western Germany. Large amounts of snow fell closer to the Alps in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The national meteorological service (DWD) has advised citizens to remain indoors in areas most-affected by the storm due to risks posed by falling debris, de-rooted trees, and potential damage to power lines. Schools in several German states were closed for the day.

Major airports have been adversely affected by the weather as well. Flights were cancelled out of security concerns at Duesseldorf airport, while the Cologne-Bonn airport was forced to temporarily close down entirely.

The DWD believes Friederike will leave behind less damage than experienced after storm Xavier in October 2017. At the time, trees carried more leaves and were particularly prone to collapse under wind pressure due to their larger surface area. Seven people were killed in related incidents.

Meteorologists expect the current storm to travel on from Western Germany to the states of Saxony and Southern Brandenburg over the course of Thursday. Throughout the country, weather patterns will remain unsteady in the coming days while temperatures drop.

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KEY WORDS: Germany