Thunderstorms, heavy rain and hurricanes have caused severe damage in parts of Germany.

At first, it hit North Rhine-Westphalia in particular: According to the police, 43 people were injured in the Paderborn area in a violent storm, at least ten of them seriously.

The German Weather Service (DWD) received several reports of suspected tornadoes, said a DWD spokesman.

However, these reports still need to be verified.

There were restrictions on long-distance Deutsche Bahn traffic.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, heavy rain and hurricanes caused chaos, especially in Lippstadt and Paderborn.

"During a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, a tornado cut a path of destruction from west to east through the middle of Paderborn in the direction of the eastern parts of the city," the police said in the early evening.

Officials reported millions in damage.

After the storm, shocked tenants in Paderborn shoveled tiles from their destroyed roofs into garbage cans in the evening.

In an industrial area, roofs were torn off halls and sheet metal and insulation were flown for kilometers, the police reported.

The fire brigade also reported a suspected tornado in Lippstadt, about 35 kilometers away, which had caused serious damage.

A fire department spokesman said there were destroyed roofs and fallen trees throughout the city.

Windows shattered and cars were destroyed by falling branches.

The municipality of Altenbeken near Paderborn reported that some of the trees had already snapped at the trunk – as if hit by a giant's hand.

A spokesman for the NRW Ministry of the Interior said that in addition to Paderborn and Lippstadt, no other places were known that had been hit similarly.

For parts of the federal state, the DWD had issued an official severe weather warning due to severe thunderstorms in the wake of the "Emmelinde" low.

The meteorologists later extended the warning to parts of Rhineland-Palatinate, Thuringia, Bavaria, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg.

The line between Paderborn and Altenbeken had to be closed because of branches and trees on the tracks.

Regional and long-distance traffic will be affected, trains will be diverted, said a railway spokesman.

On the Cologne - Wuppertal - Dortmund/Hamm route, the ICE and IC trains between Cologne and Dortmund were diverted via Düsseldorf.

On the long-distance route between Cologne/Düsseldorf and Berlin, there were no ICE trains between Bielefeld and Hanover due to an emergency doctor.

It was not immediately known whether the operation was related to the storm.

In Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, despite massive thunderstorms, there was no major damage until the evening.

Police and rescue workers reported isolated fallen trees, hail damage to cars and flooding of basements.

A man died in Rhineland-Palatinate when he entered a flooded basement: the 38-year-old suffered an electric shock, fell and probably hit his head, the police said.

In Central Franconia in Bavaria, 14 people were injured when a wooden hut collapsed during a storm, including several children.

A 37-year-old woman was flown to a clinic with serious injuries, a police spokeswoman said.

The accident happened on Friday evening in Spalt (Roth district) near the Großer Brombachsee.

According to the police spokeswoman, several holidaymakers had sought shelter in the approximately 85 square meter hut in view of the storm that was brewing in Bavaria.

For an unknown reason, it then tipped to the side and collapsed.

Even before the storm began, there were disruptions in many places in Germany at the start of the weekend.

According to the district government, school lessons in the Cologne administrative district ended at 11.30 a.m. so that the students could get home safely.

In Rhineland-Palatinate, all schools sponsored by the Ahrweiler district remained closed.

In mid-July 2021, 134 people were killed and thousands of houses were destroyed in a flood in the Ahr Valley after extremely heavy rain.

To this day, many people live in alternative quarters.

Numerous events have been canceled as a precaution.

A thanksgiving ceremony planned in Bad Münstereifel with Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki for helpers in the flood disaster last July was cancelled.

In Cologne, among other things, the zoo and the forest botanical garden were closed, and the cemeteries should also remain closed to visitors from the afternoon.

Curious: In Solingen, a Christmas market that was canceled due to the corona virus is only to be rescheduled from Saturday and thus one day later than planned.

Heavy thunderstorms had already swept across western Germany on Thursday, but the damage was a little less severe than feared.

At times, rail traffic to the Netherlands was interrupted.

There were also severe storms in the north.

Thunderstorms and gusts of wind triggered hundreds of fire brigade operations in Lower Saxony.

And this is how it should go on: The German Weather Service expects thunderstorms in the south on Saturday night.

Otherwise the thunderstorms should move towards Poland and the weather should calm down from the west.

On Saturday there could still be isolated short thunderstorms with stormy gusts in the north-east, which will subside in the afternoon.