One person dies in Riehen as storm “Zubin” sweeps across Basel region
A 61-year-old woman died in Riehen after a tree fell onto a tent she was sleeping in during a storm.
Storm “Zubin” swept across Switzerland in the early hours of Thursday morning, bringing with it wind gusts of more than 140 km per hour, including in Basel.
The woman who died had put up the tent at Riehenmattweg in Lange Erlen along with her husband. After a very windy night, the storm reached its peak in the early hours of Thursday morning. Shortly after 6am, a tree in Lange Erlen was uprooted and fell onto the tent, killing the woman. Her husband was able to free himself and call for help.
Peter Gill, media spokesperson of the public prosecution of Basel-Stadt, said a crew of fire fighters were able to free the woman from underneath the tree. Attempts were made by a doctor and paramedics to resuscitate her however she died from her injuries.
“While her husband was only slightly injured in the accident, the psychological damage must be unfathomable,” Mr Gill said.
Tree falls on car and other damage caused in Baselland
The storm wreaked havoc elsewhere in the region, keeping the emergency services busy throughout the night. A man was lucky to escape injury when a tree fell onto his car at Baselstrasse in Pfeffingen at around 10.45pm on Wednesday night. According to current investigations by the public prosecution of Baselland, the 50-year-old driver had been making his way towards Aesch when the tree fell onto his car. The driver was uninjured but his car was a complete write-off and had to be towed away.
The Baselland police operations centre received around 25 calls for assistance during the storm. In most cases, trees had fallen down and were blocking the streets. Several construction site barriers had also been overturned. The last storm-related calls were made to the operations centre at about 9am yesterday morning. While there were lots of property damage in the region, nobody was injured.
Possibly the biggest disruption was caused by a fallen tree on Bruderholz. While it did not hit any people, it fell directly onto the tram tracks and blocked both tram lines 15 and 16. The obstruction was still being cleared on Thursday afternoon.
“The professional fire fighters of Basel-Stadt were called out three times last night because of fallen trees,” Toprak Yerguz, media spokesperson of the cantonal police of Basel-Stadt, told barfi.ch. “The central office received about a dozen calls reporting uprooted trees, fallen branches, or overturned barriers.”
The EuroAirport also reported storm-related incidents to barfi.ch. While all flights in and out of Basel were running normally on Wednesday, three express freight flights were unable to land in the early hours of Thursday morning because of strong gusts of wind. One flight was cancelled, while two others were re-routed. A passenger airplane travelling from Munich to Basel was also not permitted to take off due to stormy conditions in Bavaria.
Later in the day, the storm did not cause any other major delays or cancellations. Nevertheless, the EuroAirport still measured winds of up to 35 knots (about 65 km/h) between 2pm and 5pm on Thursday.
However, it was not only pilots and passengers who expected strong winds throughout Thursday. People on the ground also had to remain alert. Our weather forecast for the coming days can be found here.
Open house at HGK school in January
The Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung (HGK) will open its doors to the public on 12 January, with students presenting the projects they have been working on over the past year. Anyone who is interested to learn more about art and design can visit on that day.
Next to two guided tours across the campus, visitors can also discover interesting products in the workspaces. It is also an opportunity to question the students and teachers.
More information about the “Open house” is available under this link.
Taizé festival looks for accommodation in Basel for thousands of visitors
Around 18,000 young people are expected to attend the 40th youth meeting and festival of the Taizé ecumenical community, which will take place in Basel on 28 December. However, the festival is still looking for accommodation for several thousand people for five nights.
The young adults, from more than 45 countries, are seeking accommodation with guest families, flat shares, and single persons. So far, only around 10,000 places have been secured, the organisers informed the media on Thursday.
In the meantime, various hosts have agreed to accommodate more than just one person. The participants’ requirements are humble: Because the young people aged between 18 and 35 will bring their own sleeping bags, they only need two square metres as well as four breakfasts and one lunch.
The participants of the festival will spend most of their time in communal prayer, singing, at workshops, and taking part in shared meals. But the exchange with hosts is also an important part. Therefore, other sleeping opportunities such as sports halls should be used only in emergencies, organisers said.
Atheists and followers of other religions are also welcome to host the young people, the organisers stated. At the 2016 Taizé meeting in Riga, about 30 per cent of all hosts did not have any direct connection to religion.
The young people will arrive on 28 December in Basel, but also partly in Mulhouse (France) and Lörrach (Germany). The 40th Taizé festival is also the first tri-national meeting. A large part of participants will travel to the tri-border area in around 240 buses.
A total of 4,900 guests are expected from Poland alone. Likewise, the Ukraine delegation is one of the largest, with 2,800 young people. The departure after the festival is set for New Year.
The Taizé festival first took place in Paris in 1978. Basel is the second Swiss city to host the event, following from Geneva ten years ago.
The youth festivals are organised by the ecumenical monk community in the town of Taizé (Eastern France). Frère Roger Schulz, a pastor from the canton of Vaud, who passed away in 2005, had founded the community in 1940.