Heavy storm lashes western Germany

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IOL pic jun10 germany weather storm Reuters A fallen tree lies in front of the main hospital in Dortmund after heavy rainfalls and a severe thunderstorm. Picture: Ina Fassbender

Dusseldorf, Germany - A storm raged over Germany's most populous state late on Monday, causing at least one death, forcing Dusseldorf airport to shut down temporarily, disrupting public transport and making some roads impassable due to fallen trees.

A cyclist aged around 50 died in Cologne after being hit by a falling tree that local police said was probably struck by lightning.

Thunderstorms, strong winds and heavy rain hit the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia, causing Germany's third-largest airport to close for around an hour. Ten incoming flights were diverted while 10 other flights were cancelled.

The airport said gusts of up to 150km/h were recorded. It opened again at 10pm local time (20h00 GMT).

Train services were temporarily suspended and fallen trees blocked some streets in Dusseldorf, where trams and underground trains were also stopped due to damaged overhead lines. Some locals reported electrical outages.

The storm front moved further north-east and the German Meteorological Service issued weather warnings for regions including Hanover and Bremen for the night. - Reuters

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