A veteran meteorologist calls Germany’s natural catastrophe management a “failed state” after over 200 people were killed despite warnings having been issued days early.
Swiss meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann slams Germany’s failure to heed early flood warnings. Image: Twitter.com/kachelmann
In an interview with the online Austrian Der Standard, veteran meteorologist Jörg Kachelmann said it was clear that meteorological warnings of devastating floods in Germany were known to the authorities at an early stage. Yet, over 200 died in the floods in a failure to evacuate on time.
Nothing has changed in years
“When nobody does anything, then there are lots of dead people,” said the Swiss meteorologist. And Kachelmann is not optimistic about Germany’s crusty old emergency management bureaucracy changing any time soon: “I have no doubt that nothing will change in this state of affairs, because nothing has changed for years and decades and many such events in the past.”
He added: “Germany has long been a failed state when it comes to protecting people from natural catastrophes.” Kachelmann believes that under normal political conditions, the heads of North Rhine Westphalia and Rhineland Palatinate – and that of the regional network of ARD flagship German television – would have to resign.
He told Der Standard that it would be very worthwhile for German natural catastrophe prevention and management authorities to learn from the USA when it come to how to react to natural disasters, e.g. tornadoes and hurricanes.
It’s not the first time the seasoned meteorologist has railed against Germany’s ineptitude when it comes to issuing storm warnings. In 2018, he criticized German public television for what he said was a failure to adequately warn the public before North Sea storm Xavier barreled through northern Germany on October 5, killing 7 people.