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Switzerland hit by 50,000 lightning strikes in night of storms

The Local Switzerland
The Local Switzerland - [email protected]
Switzerland hit by 50,000 lightning strikes in night of storms
Lightning is seen above Lake Geneva from Chexbres, western Switzerland during a storm on July 11, 2023.(Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)

Switzerland saw more than 50,000 lightning strikes in one night, weather experts said.

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After a sweltering hot spell, storms came in thick and fast across many Swiss regions on Tuesday evening. 

Switzerland’s official meteorological service, MeteoSwiss, declared the highest danger level, urging people to exercise caution due to the weather. 

The storms left a trail of destruction across the country, causing injuries.

According to police, a woman was struck by lightning in Villars-sur-Glâne, western Switzerland, and was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Trees were uprooted, while cars and homes were also damaged. 

Travel was also impacted. At Zurich airport check-ins were halted for safety reasons. Rail services were also disrupted in some places.

Earlier in the day, the temperature in parts of the country including Chur rose above 37C for the first time this year.

According to Meteo News, more than 50,000 lightning bolts struck Switzerland during the night of storms. 

Thunder, torrential rain and powerful gusts of wind were also recorded. 

And bad weather continued on Wednesday. A weather warning level '3' - the second highest - was in place. 

On Wednesday afternoon Bern's trams were disrupted due to flooding in the city centre, while torrential rain and storms hit other places including Zurich. 

Delays and cancellations on several lines were expected until early evening. 

Forecasters said more storms should be expected in Switzerland when temperatures rise significantly. 

"Yesterday's thunderstorm was just the beginning," weather expert Roger Perret told Blick. "Thunderstorms follow beautiful, hot days - that is completely normal. And typical for high summer."

It is expected to get warm again this weekend, with temperatures around 35C forecast on Saturday. 

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