Flight chaos as planes left stranded in flood water after storm batters airport

The European summer continues to be affected by extreme weather sparking disruption across the continent.

On Wednesday, heavy rain and a powerful lightning storm plunged travellers in Frankfurt into chaos, with the airport of Germany’s financial capital, also a major airport for connecting flights across the globe, forced to cancel dozens of trips.

On Thursday, Frankfurt Airport, the busiest in Germany, said it had to axe 90 flights and re-route 23 more to other airports after its runway was flooded with rain. 

Some passengers spent the night on camp beds while others slept at the airport hotel.

A spokesman for the airport told AFP: “Today, the situation will probably stabilise again. There are still passengers here who need to be booked onto new flights.” 

READ MORE: Germany branded ‘a laughing stock’ after minister’s plane grounded

But the airport wasn’t the only part of Frankfurt to be badly affected by the disruptive weather between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

The city’s firefighters were tested as they attended more than 500 calls linked to the storm, with more than 350 buildings being flooded by water and 17 fallen trees.

Similar scenes were seen across other parts of Germany, with many passageways, garages and even entire streets being flooded – particularly in the southwest, where more than 25,000 bolts of lightning were recorded in about an hour.

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Germany wasn’t the only European victim of fierce lightning storms. The area of Turin, in northern Italy, was hit by hail, strong winds and heavy rains, with more than 80mm of water falling within an hour.

Local authorities closed for a few hours out of precaution Turin Airport, re-routing many passengers to the busy Milan Malpensa Airport.

The storm brought little respite from the heat that continues to grip much of Italy – as well as France, Spain and other Mediterranean countries – as on Thursday Turin recorded 32C.

On August 14, Turkey saw the national record for the highest temperature shattered as the mercury hit 50C in the southern province of Hatay.

Spain continues to see blistering temperatures as it experienced last week its third heatwave of the year.

The high temperatures brought new wildfires. On Tuesday, the fire ripped through 500 hectares of land in southern France and forced the evacuation of homes and holiday campsites.

Frequent heatwaves and severe storms are a result of climate change, many climate experts agree.

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