German coast sees worst storm surge in 10 years

Berlin, Jan 5 (IANS) Germany’s Baltic coast has been hit by the worst storm surge in 10 years, with citizens on Thursday waking up to flooding and damage as weather conditions exceeded forecasts.

Images on social media showed a storm flood barrier being closed in Greifswald and a flooded fish market in Hamburg, both in northern Germany, and snow storms hitting Dresden in the east, Efe news reported.

“It was the worst storm surge since 2006,” an official of the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) said.

The water level would remain, in many parts of the nation, one metre higher than the normal level, he said.

Some of the flood waters had started to subside but in the cities of Lubeck and Wismar levels were 1.39m and 1.43m above the normal measurements, according to the BSH.

The cities most affected by the storm included Kiel, Rostock, Warnemunde, Flensburg, Eckernförde and the islands of Rugen and Usedom.

Many residents had taken precautions and prepared their houses properly with authorities providing sand bags, according to a Lubeck fire department official.

The German Weather Service (DWD) was maintaining weather warnings for snow in Bavaria, southern Germany, where wintry conditions have caused about 160 traffic accidents since Wednesday.