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Germany severely affected by heavy rainfall

Christian Fernsby |
The low pressure weather front named "Axel" has caused heavy rainfall in several federal states, with up to 50 liters of rain per square meter falling in just six hours in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia, meteorologist Christina Speicher at the German meteorological service (DWD) announced on Tuesday.

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In parts of Baden-Wuerttemberg, up to 70 liters of rain fell per square meter within 24 hours, according to Speicher.

The DWD had issued the second highest storm warning for most of Baden-Wuerttemberg and had issued the highest storm warning of extreme storms for the southeast of Germany.

In the Bavarian town of Aurach, a driver had skidded off the Autobahn due to the high water levels and died at the scene of the accident.

Hours of heavy rainfall in the foothills of the Alps had increased the risk of flooding and caused problems for Germany's railways.

Deutsche Bahn (DB) closed several railway lines on Tuesday morning, including the busy line between the cities of Augsburg and Ulm.

The reason was that flooding had submerged the tracks and a "landslide was imminent," said a DB spokesperson.

The German meteorological service continued to warn against "extremely heavy continuous rainfall" in the Alpine foothills with estimates of up to 180 liters of rain falling per square meter.

Together with melting snow in the mountains, this could significantly increase the risk of flooding and the German meteorological service had issued a storm warning of the highest order for this area.

According to the German meteorological service, an almost identical weather situation occurred exactly 20 years ago in the area of the Alpine foothills.

At the time, intensive rainfall in the north of the Alps and snowmelt led to hundred-year floods in Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria. The amount of rainfall, however, was even higher than the current level on Monday and Tuesday.

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