The German border region with Belgium and the Netherlands saw scenes yesterday evening which are normally reserved to the US when a huge wedge tornado ripped through the town of Viersen-Boisheim at around 6 pm local time leaving "a trail of devastation" and at least one person seriously injured.
The 23-year-old injured person was hit by thick tree branches. Furthermore, several roads were blocked by fallen tree branches, and a railway line had to be closed.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A violent wedge tornado near Viersen, Germany this afternoon, May 16th, 2018!! Video by Fabian Hallenga <a href="https://twitter.com/ReedTimmerAccu?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ReedTimmerAccu</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/JimCantore?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JimCantore</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/spann?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@spann</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/breakingweather?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@breakingweather</a> <a href="https://t.co/mfJElC8D7W">pic.twitter.com/mfJElC8D7W</a></p>— severe-weather.EU (@severeweatherEU) <a href="https://twitter.com/severeweatherEU/status/996824052286271488?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 16, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Various houses in Viersen-Boisheim houses were so badly damaged because of the weather that the local fire department declared them temporarily uninhabitable. Many house roofs had been damaged and trees were tilted.
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Weatherman Raymond Klaassen told Dutch media that it is quite peculiar to see these large tornadoes here. "They go along with heavy showers and a great instability in the atmosphere."
"Due to a strong upward flow and large differences in wind speed at various heights, air can start rolling and then tilting. Then you speak of a tornado. He has just moved past the Netherlands, but if he would have started 20 kilometers away then we would have seen him here. "
Tornados are quite a rare sight in the Netherlands and Germany. Usually, one or two smaller ones are recorded per year.
Mr. Klaassen expects climate change to have an impact on tornados in the future: “Because of climate change, it is becoming ever warmer. As meteorologists, we’re taking into account that there will be more than two per year as from now.”