NewsDisaster area spared new storms

Disaster area spared new storms

Many looked at the flood areas with concern: New storms had been feared for the weekend. Meanwhile, politicians want to arm themselves better.

Offenbach – Around one and a half weeks after the devastating flood disaster in western Germany, the people in the region were able to breathe a sigh of relief over the weekend. New storms and floods that had been feared did not materialize.

After a few showers on Saturday afternoon, the night in the affected areas remained largely dry, said a spokeswoman for the German Weather Service (DWD).

Meanwhile, politicians are concerned about the warning system in Germany: How can we prevent storms from having such serious consequences? At least 179 people died in the disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, and dozen are still missing.

Emergency shelters were available

The people – especially in some places in Rhineland-Palatinate – looked at the weather forecasts for the weekend with concern. In several places, residents were offered the opportunity to be taken to an emergency shelter by shuttle bus. But there were no new storms. “From a police point of view, there were no special features,” said a police spokesman in Koblenz. In North Rhine-Westphalia, too, the situation center was not aware of any outstanding storm operations, as a spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Interior announced.

Storm in the south

The Saarland, the south and south-west of Germany were hit harder this weekend. There it thundered and rained heavily. In Stuttgart there were floods in parts of the city center, and trees buckled in several communities in the Heilbronn district. In the Ludwigsburg district, several streets were flooded and manhole covers were lifted. In addition, a car got stuck in a flooded street, the water was half a meter high. The occupants climbed onto the roof of the car and were released by the fire brigade. Thunderstorms were also expected on Sunday, especially in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. “The air is very humid and warm, it can boil,” said the DWD spokeswoman.

Warning system planned for Germany

In order to be better prepared in the event of severe storms in the future, politicians are thinking about the warning system in Germany. “We need fewer responsible persons and shorter reporting channels,” said Chancellery Minister Helge Braun (CDU) of “Bild am Sonntag”. “And we have to clarify how often and with what intensity there is a warning. Some apps report every thunderstorm – with the result that people become numb and no longer take a great danger seriously. “

For the future, Braun proposes a three-stage warning system consisting of apps, so-called cell broadcasting and sirens: “Apps can warn of general dangers and convey a lot of information,” he explained. “In the event of urgent emergencies or evacuations, the cell broadcasting that we as the government want to introduce can reach all cell phones in a certain radio cell with a message.” And the siren alarm makes it clear that there is immediate need for action. “For this we should put sirens on again all over Germany.”

However, several state interior ministers consider the funding to be inadequate. Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (CSU) told “Welt am Sonntag”: “I welcome the funding program for setting up federal sirens, but this should be significantly increased.” Especially at night and when life is threatened, the piercing siren warning tone is needed as much as possible to reach all citizens, said Herrmann.

Lower Saxony’s Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) sees the federal government “clearly in the duty to ensure that a nationwide functioning, comprehensive warning system is reinstalled”. A one-off payment of 90 million euros is only a fraction of what is needed. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) said that if more money was available, the municipalities could invest more in the warning infrastructure.

Great willingness to help flood victims

Meanwhile, the willingness to help in the disaster areas continues – in addition to donating money, many people also want to help in the affected areas themselves. On Saturday there were so many that the police in Koblenz and the crisis team appealed to helpers not to make their way to the region. All access roads are completely overloaded, it said. dpa

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