|EUR / USD||1.37976||0.67|
|EUR / GBP||0.82571||0.59|
|USD / GBP||0.598544||-0.10|
28 March 2006
HAMBURG - Hundreds of thousands of people spent the night without electricity after a tornado tore through the north German city of Hamburg, leaving two people dead and a trail of destruction.
The powerful winds uprooted trees, brought down power lines, overturned cars and forced rail traffic to a halt, officials said Tuesday.
Two crane operators died when the storm toppled their cranes in the suburb of Harburg, leaving a mass of twisted metal wrapped around a partly demolished building.
Some 500 police and another 500 members of the emergency services worked until the early hours to clear up the damage and protect homes and shops from potential looters.
The storm hit shortly after 7 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Monday as people were still on their way home from work. Many commuters were left stranded when power was cut to rail services. Traffic lights were also knocked out, causing chaos on the roads.
A spokesman for the utilities company Vattenfall Europe said the storm ripped off the aluminium roof of a boathouse, causing sheets of metal to slice through overhead power cables.
More than 70,000 households were left without power until around 6 a.m. on Tuesday. The main hospital in Harburg was forced to use an emergency generator.
Officials estimated the damage from the storm at several million euros.
Subject: German news
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