14 January 2004
HAMBURG – Heavy wind and rain storms which swept over Germany during the night flooded rivers, uprooted trees, caused mudslides and possibly contributed to a cruise ship sinking in the port of Bremerhaven on Wednesday.
The storm dubbed “Hanne” chiefly affected southern Germany, where flooding streams and rivers cut off roads and forced the evacuation of some residents from their homes.
Weather officials said winds of up to 169 kilometres per hour. In the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany, downpours brought nearly 150 litres of rain in a 36-hour period
Shipping on the Rhine, Mosel and Danube rivers was stopped in places because of rising water levels.
In Bremerhaven in northern Germany, the “Pride of America” cruise ship was buffeted by the wind and waves, taking in so much water that it sank to the harbour floor, leaving the vessel partially submerged and listing heavily on one side.
At least three shipyard workers among the 14 on board were injured. The EUR 300 million vessel was due to be handed over in April to the Norwegian Cruise Line company.
Officials were not completely certain that the storm which swept over Germany during the night was the cause of the ship’s sinking, but the weather was a factor in hampering initial rescue work.
Subject: German news