Armin Papperger, CEO of the renowned German arms company "Rheinmetall," issued a stark warning, asserting that Europe requires a decade to achieve full readiness to defend itself.
Deadly Storm Ciarán Ravages Europe: 12 Lives Lost, Including Child
In a series of deadly events, Storm Ciarán wreaked havoc across Europe, resulting in at least 12 casualties. The storm's impact extended from Italy to northern Europe, causing widespread flooding and destruction.
Italy's Tuscany region bore the brunt of the devastation as torrential rain, accumulating up to 200mm in just three hours, triggered catastrophic floods, claiming five lives. Videos captured the grim aftermath, with raging waters engulfing cars on inundated roads. In Tuscany, railway and highway disruptions and school closures added to the chaos.
Other areas were not spared, with three people reported missing in Tuscany, and one in the mountainous Veneto region. Storm warnings spread to southern Italy as authorities remained on high alert.
The destruction escalated as Ciarán made its way through Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, leading to the loss of seven lives. Commuters faced travel chaos, while homes were destroyed, and power outages left countless households in the dark.
In regions such as Pisa and Mugello, hospitals were submerged in floodwaters, and rescue efforts continued to save stranded residents, including 150 people trapped in Prato after a train line was closed.
In the city of Prato, Mayor Matteo Biffoni expressed his shock at the flood's intensity, vowing to restore normalcy despite the overwhelming destruction. Florence Mayor Dario Nardella raised concerns as the Arno River approached alert level one, echoing the tragic memory of the 1966 flood that had caused significant loss of life and cultural heritage.
Ciarán's wrath extended beyond Italy, affecting the southern Austrian province of Carinthia. Here, power outages, blocked roads, and landslides resulted from relentless rain and winds. Over 1,600 households remained without electricity as Austria faced the aftermath of the storm.
Across the Atlantic, northern France continued to grapple with heavy rain, while Corsica and regions in the Pyrenees faced strong winds and flood warnings. Over half a million French households remained without electricity for a second day, particularly in Brittany. President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne visited the affected areas to assess the extent of the damage and coordinate relief efforts.
As Europe grapples with the aftermath of Storm Ciarán, the impact of this destructive weather event serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by communities in its path.
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The atmospheric pressure is and will remain higher than the average for the month
During the night and tomorrow, we expect significant cloudiness, but precipitation will be light and only in certain areas of the mountain regions.
Monday's weather forecast brings cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and light snowfall in the mountains across Bulgaria
Starting with tomorrow, February 17, Western Bulgaria is set to bask in the warmth of a sunny day, a welcome respite from the winter chill
Renowned climatologist Professor Georgi Rachev expressed concern over the diminishing presence of snow at lower altitudes in Bulgaria, highlighting a broader trend not limited to the country
Tonight, quiet and clear weather is expected over the western part of the country.