Hurricane Lothar of 26 December 1999

Lothar, the winter storm, which reached hurricane force in a few hours, sweeping over the north of France, the south of Germany and Switzerland, left a picture of destruction in its wake. Eighty people lost their lives, without counting victims of the clean-up operations. A large number of households spent days cut off from electricity. The damage caused by Lothar in the three countries amounted to 5 billion US dollars. In the area of Paris about 60 percent of roofs were damaged by the hurricane. In addition, numerous greenhouses were victims to the storm. Forests also suffered greatly; in France, Germany and Switzerland fallen timber amounted to several years of average annual felling.