| 27 May 2024, Monday |

Storm Antonia: Fresh hurricane-force winds hit Germany

In the third severe weather event in less than a week, Germany on Sunday night battened down the hatches as Storm Antonia threatened hurricane-force winds and thunderstorms.

Storms Ylenia and Zeynep left about €1.4 billion ($1.58 billion) damage in their wake and killed at least six people in Germany.

What could be the impact of Storm Antonia?
The German Weather Service issued a red alert for gale force winds of up 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) for pockets of mostly western and southern Germany, but also along the Baltic Sea coast.

An orange alert for winds of up to 90 kilometers per hour was issued for the rest of the country, with stronger hurricane-like gusts at times.
The Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency warned of a risk of storm surge on the country’s North Sea coast.

Rail travelers were told to expect delays and canceled services on Monday due to likely further damage to rail infrastructure from the strong winds.

In the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Deutsche Bahn said it stopped regional services from 8 p.m. local time (1900 UTC) as a precaution, but hoped to resume normal operations on Monday morning.

Metronom, which operates many regional rail services in Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Bremen, also planned to suspend operations on Sunday night.

Several flights were redirected from Dusseldorf International and Weeze Airport to other nearby airports in Germany due to the strong winds.

The storm was also expected to hit the UK and Ireland on Sunday, where it is known as Franklin.

Hundreds of flood alerts have been issued across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The UK’s Met Office warned that “flying debris” could put lives at risk.
More than a dozen people were killed by Zeynep, which struck Ireland, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany on Friday and Saturday.

Storm Ylenia landed in Germany a day earlier, also causing considerable damage.

In Germany, repair teams were still working on Sunday to repair overhead rail lines and remove fallen trees from Zeynep.

Rail operator Deutsche Bahn warned that around 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) of the network remained impassable.

“Currently, we are running about three-quarters of long-distance services,” rail spokesman Achim Stauss said.

By Sunday evening, there were still no long-distance trains between Hamburg and Rostock, Berlin and Rostock, and between Norddeich Mole/Emden and Cologne.

More than 1.3 million people were left without power in Britain and Poland, with energy firms still racing to restore supply to tens of thousands of homes on Sunday.

  • DW