Storms are raging in Austria, even in areas that have already been badly hit. Experts warn: It is a completely new type of weather phenomenon.
Storms raged in large parts of Austria on Tuesday night, and the risk of weather is still very high on Tuesday. In the Carinthian Mölltal and in the Tyrolean Stubaital, cars were simply swept away and destroyed by mudflows – the Stubaital was hit hard by a thunderstorm a few days ago. Since then, the pastor of the region has also been missing – his car was also carried away, only the front tires were found by the emergency services.
“The thunderstorms we’re seeing right now are thunderstorms that get huge, develop extremely quickly, and then pour out over a single point for hours.”
Experts who know the weather are stunned. “Huge masses of water that you rarely see. And that of course destroyed all the work we’ve done for the last two or three days,” says fire brigade commander Markus Stern after the renewed storms in the Stubaital to the Ö1 “Morgenjournal”. For the fire brigade and rescue services, operations are becoming increasingly difficult because on the one hand there are more and more onlookers and on the other hand people underestimate the dangers.
ORF meteorologist Erhard Berger even speaks of a “new type of thunderstorm”: “We have experience with thunderstorms that last maybe 20 minutes, half an hour, let it rain quite intensively and then pass again. The thunderstorms we are currently experiencing have to observe, these are thunderstorms that are huge, develop extremely quickly and then pour out over a single point for hours. And that is exactly what leads to extreme intensities of precipitation,” he says to Ö1.
“In the meantime it is the case that you have to reckon with it even in areas where you are not used to mudslides or flooding in recent years.”
Elmar Rizzoli, head of the Tyrolean Center for Crisis and Disaster Management, warns in the “Morgenjournal” that such events will occur much more frequently in the future: “It is now the case that even in areas where there has not been a mudslide in recent years , who is not used to flooding, has to reckon with it. And that we simply have to adapt to this new situation”. Emergency services in Fulpmes, on the other hand, report how terrible it is that surprised people are suddenly screaming for help and for their lives.
Also terrible for the rescuers: where the situation is explored with drones because entering it is simply too dangerous, onlookers are discovered, a family with children in the case of Fulpmes. The emergency services are stunned – you have to take care of your own colleagues and save lives and then even onlookers would simply put their lives in danger. Also incomprehensible for the meteorologist Berger: “If a thunderstorm appears, then I will look to flee. I will no longer watch the flashing lightning, but I will make sure that I run away. And I will get rid of everything what is water try to keep away. There’s something deadly about thunderstorms in times like these climate changes.”