By Nadine Schmidt, CNN
A tornado swept through the German city of Paderborn Friday, injuring at least 30 people, authorities said, and blew away roofs, toppled trees and sent debris flying for miles.
The twister created a path of destruction from west to east of the city, Paderborn police said, adding it caused 30 to 40 injuries. At least 10 of those injuries were serious, authorities noted.
Traffic was heavily affected some pathways and parks were closed or impassable, police said.
Authorities asked residents to stay indoors as “countless danger spots” remained, and rescue efforts were ongoing.
Paderborn is about three hours north of Frankfurt.
Much of northern Germany was under a threat level 3 (out of 3) for severe storms Friday, according to the European Storm Forecast Experiment. The level indicates a possibility for severe to extremely severe wind gusts, large hail, tornadoes and heavy rain, the team said.
“A dangerous situation is expected that may feature a convective windstorm with long swaths of severe to extremely severe wind gusts and several supercells with large hail and tornadoes with the highest threat over central parts of Germany,” Estofex said.
There were several other tornado reports Friday, including one in the Netherlands, close to the German border and three in Germany, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
While tornadoes in Europe are not uncommon, there are usually far fewer twisters than are recorded in the US annually. From 2011 to 2020, the US averaged a preliminary total of 1,173 tornadoes per year, and Europe around 256, CNN has previously reported.
European Russia (which is the part of the country west of 58 degrees East longitude), tops the list at 86 tornadoes annually, while Germany comes in second with an average of 28 tornadoes annually.
The peak density of tornado reports coincides with the high population density over Belgium, the Netherlands, and northern Germany, according to a study on severe storms in Europe published in December 2020.
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CNN’s Arnaud Siad contributed to this report.