About 40 people were injured, 10 seriously, when a suspected tornado swept through the German city of Paderborn on Friday as storms ravaged the western part of the country.
Images on social media showed the signature spinning cyclone clouds of a tornado throwing debris across the sky, although the German Weather Service did not immediately confirm a tornado had occurred.
Police said up to 40 people had been injured, 10 of them seriously, in Paderborn, a city of about 150,000 people halfway between Frankfurt and Hamburg. Rail and road transport was disrupted across the region.
In nearby Hellinghausen, images shared on social media showed that a spire had been ripped from the roof of a church, the remains of which were scattered across the graveyard.
Police posted images of fallen or halved trees and roofs swept clean by the wind in Paderborn.
“Cladding and insulation have been blown miles away,” the police said in a statement. “Numerous roofs have been exposed or damaged. Many trees are still on wrecked cars.”
They asked the locals to stay at home as the German weather service warned that the stormy weather would continue.
Meteorologists said the extreme weather was caused by warm air coming in from Africa and meeting relatively cooler air coming down from northern Europe.