Veteran Swiss Meteorologist Calls Germany’s Natural Disaster Protection “A Failed State”

From the NoTricksZone

By P Gosselin on 24. July 2021

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:

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.”

“Failed state”

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.

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July 25, 2021 6:36 am

Good for you!
Nothing quite like swiss precision for “calling a spade a spade”.

They can even tell the Germans in proper hoch deutsch,- them being a country which faces plenty of tough weather extremes, earthquakes, floods and avalanches with car trains that work on time, when there’s too much snow!

July 25, 2021 6:45 am

Despite his position in concern of CC, he’s nevertheless not an alarmist but more rational.
And as meteoroligist he is one of the best with a clear view on the facts.
His agenda is, that he can’t understand, that people often is surprised by thunderstorms, severe weather and other usual storms and changes of weather in short times.

Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 7:39 am

So, the government failed to warn the German citizens.

Does the government need to warn German citizens? Don’t the Germans have television and weather forecasters on those televisions? If the German people get regular weather reports from their televisions, then that should have been enough warning.

I don’t know the circumstances of German weather awareness, but I know that around where I live, we have weather being forecast on the tv all day long, and when severe weather rolls in, the tv will interrupt regular programming to cover the storms and will have storm chasers right in the middle of these storms giving us live updates about what is going on and where. People may get hurt, but it’s not because they were unaware that a storm was brewing.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 7:44 am

Unfortunately this is the mindset that becomes dominant whenever socialists are in charge.
People sit around waiting for government to tell them what to do.
After all, they’ve been trained since an early age to believe that the government has all the experts and that government will take care of them. No need for personal initiative. Just wait for government to tell you what to do.

Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2021 10:42 pm

You are absolutely correct Mark W. We are told by our governments that we must switch over to 100% renewables to stabilise the weather/climate. Germany has invested in renewables over decades now, I guess they trusted that their part of the world should be protected by now.

What has to happen to make them realise the folly of all this? This infrastructure is not only weather dependent but also vulnerable to severe weather events. How many of the wind turbines and solar panels are damaged during these events? We would be better off saving the trillions of dollars wasted, on repairs after what nature throws at us.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 8:00 am

In my part of the US (southeast) years of hurricanes and heavy rainfall events has created a great public/private partnership in weather alerts. The National Weather Service does an excellent job of forecasting both short term severe weather events (tornadoes/flash flooding) and longer term (hurricanes/N’easters/snow and ice) and the word gets blasted out over the airways by the TV, radio and cable networks. Additionally there is good competition between the local TV station’s meteorology departments keeping everyone up to date. I have a weather app on my phone that sends out alerts authored by a local TV station. If a person doesn’t know what is coming, it’s really their own fault.

We have typically one snow event a winter here in central NC and everything shuts down on the forecast (whether it happens or not). I’ve seen a two centimeter snow close down the whole city. Hurricane forecasts start a week ahead. The interstate highways leaving from the beaches are turned into one-way evacuation routes if necessary. In a lot of beach towns the police go door to door in advance of the storm. It’s really remarkable.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 8:08 am

and when severe weather rolls in, the tv will interrupt regular programming to cover the storms

No, that’s what they didn’t. Who looks TV in the night ?
Weather forecasters warned, some even days in advance, but the “forecasters” in TV in the news didn’t take that into account and talked about coming bad weather.
TV and radio were silent.
Only in 1 private, local radio station studio people came together out of their regular broadcasting time and informed the listeners, if there were any in the night. These sations have mostly not so much follower, I know that exactly as I am part of such a local, noncommercial radiostation with certainely not much more than the or the other 100 listeners at daytime, much less in late afternnoon and early evening time via antenne and internet.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2021 3:47 pm

TV?!? In this day and age?!? Why not just send a text to every German phone? Won’t get everyone in DE, but most.

Romeo Rachi
Reply to  Spetzer86
July 27, 2021 7:42 am

I live in Arizona. We get warnings and alerts to our phones for severe weather. Seems easy enough. Not everyone watches TV or listens to the radio but nearly everyone has a cell phone.

Paul Johnson
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 8:26 am

As I understand it, the larger government failure was not lowering water levels behind key dams in anticipation of heavy rains. When the predicted rains arrived, there was little capacity to retain them and protect the downstream communities. In a region with a long history of major floods, this was inexcusable. Perhaps the dam levels were kept high to maximize hydropower production rather than lowered to provide flood protection.

Reply to  Paul Johnson
July 25, 2021 8:44 am

No, they certainely still believed Germany is in a 4. year of drougt as it was told in January or February, and we will get, of course, out of drinkwater later in the year….

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 9:54 am

My television is not on most of the day and when it is, it is usually on a streaming service. Network TV holds no interest for me. I have AccuWeather (I call it Crack-u-Weather because it is never correct) and the Weather Channel apps on my phone. They are both useless. I look at the satellite maps and figure out for myself if I should worry.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2021 11:15 am

The state-funded radio and TV broadcasted no warnings, it was business as usual, neither did the commercial broadcasters.
The state-funded radio and TV is dominated by Greens and Reds who afterwards immediately blamed the flood disaster on climate change. There was neither mention of failure by the authorities nor of inadequate protective measures.
It must be said, however, that it was a very rare flash flood, like the one, that occurred more than two hundred years ago in 1804 and the one in the year1910! But it was even more devastating because the narrow Valley of the small river Ahr, with its steep vineyards, is now more densely built up .
After a year of relative drought in 2020 and the constant chatter about dryness caused by climate change, which is suggested to Germans on TV, the authorities failed to lower the dams full to the brim in order to buffer the flash flood!
Nevertheless this tragedy could lead to more votes for the Greens in the September elections. although they are jointly responsible for the disaster, as they co-govern in a coalition in the state.

Reply to  alacran
July 25, 2021 11:53 am

After a year of relative drought in 2020 dams were full to the brim. That doesn’t sound like drought to me.

Reply to  alacran
July 25, 2021 1:15 pm

The region had no drought over the year, and days before flooding, it was raining too,so the ground was full of water.Than is to take in account, the valley in question is based on schist.
The drainage of the vineyards is vertically, not horizontally transverse the valleys wall.

Reply to  alacran
July 25, 2021 1:16 pm

Why comments without link dissapear in moderation ?

Reply to  alacran
July 25, 2021 5:17 pm

The same scenario occurred in Brisbane, Australia in the 2011 floods. For more than a decade, the climate doomists warned that Australia would never see rain again. Brisbane spent billions on sewerage recycling and desalination plants based on this prediction.

Brisbane built the Wivenhoe dam as flood mitigation after the 1974 floods. The dam began operation in 1984. Based on the prediction that the dams would never fill again, the dam controllers did not operate to the design guidelines. They did not release water once the main storage dam was approaching its reserve limit because it had been very low in previous years. The consequence being that they had no surge capacity once the rain hit. All water coming in had to be released, their fear of running dry superseded the design intention of the dam as flood mitigation. The dam was designed to prevent river flooding and for water storage. It would have achieved the flood mitigation if it was operated to its design parameters.

The Climate Commissioner who made these ridiculous predictions of the dams never filling again still gets air time despite his paid job being long gone.

The Queensland Government and dam operators wore the blame in a class action. The operator’s error was not formally revising the operating guidelines and sheeting the blame back to the dud Climate Commissioner and his dud prediction.

The myopic focus on the devil incarnate, CO2, diverts attention from the real issues.

Ten seconds of thought leads anyone to the conclusion that local mitigation of risk is the ONLY option. Even if CO2 could alter climate, Germany is not going to get China or India to wind back on their increasing use of fossil fuels.

Earth’s orbital precession is leading the North Atlantic back into a period of glaciation as the tropical oceans warm in the boreal summer and the higher latitudes get colder in the boreal winter – meaning more snow. The current millennium will see the start of glaciation again. I expect humans will be able to mitigate the risks associated with glaciation. But think of 1km high snow mountains across Canada and global sea level 140m lower than present. For humans to survive, they need to eventually cope with these risks.

The government funded organisations that suck on the CO2 doomsday teat need to be held accountable for all their silly predictions. They mock science and divert resources from useful endeavour.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 26, 2021 1:28 am

Tom Abbott

A tiny problem for UK citizens.

Not only is the Government and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition absolutely signed up to GangGreen, but the media (97% following ultra propaganda BBC) and the once Internationally respected MET Office now feels its role as spreading GangGreen propaganda first and (poorly) forecasting weather as a distant second priority.

I suggest that HMG, media and MET have many participants and supporters who would much prefer to see a nice big number of deaths to use in their agit-prop, than to do their job rationally and to help people.

July 25, 2021 8:24 am

An earlier story Jörg Kachelmann wrote about later:

Storm Xavier – how the media have people on their conscience: Doing nothing kills.
It is always so terrible when you know in advance that there will be deaths. And you also know that they would most likely have been preventable and you already know that it will be exactly the same next time.
The day before storm “Xavier” was clear in the afternoon where he would pass through. Even if it was not possible at this time (and can hardly be possible 24 hours before) to predict exactly where it would now be more like 90 or 120 km/h, it was clear in the afternoon that Berlin would also be caught. Again as a small documentary the weather report for Spiegel Daily, which was recorded shortly after 4 p.m. the day before by “Xavier”:

July 25, 2021 8:41 am

Kachelmann about Kachelmann:

“I take every storm dead personally”
• Meteorologists are popular television characters, but there was only one star in this country: Jörg Kachelmann. His shirt-sleeved manner and his relaxed tone made him a crowd favorite on “Das Wetter im Erste” in the nineties. He even became a talk show host. And after the German Weather Service (DWD) had not given sufficient warning of the hurricane “Anna”, but Kachelmann did, his company also took over the weather according to the “daily themes” from 2002 to 2010.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2021 9:45 am

“Das Wetter im Erste”

Interesting that word (Wetter, weather) in Russian (ветер – pr. ‘vetter’) means wind. I guess with no wind you have no threats.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
July 25, 2021 2:17 pm

Wetter-German : wetter-English also a nice comparision 😀

July 25, 2021 8:45 am

The public should demand those who failed their responsibilities here receive the ‘Italian earthquake scientist’ treatment, and build a new prison to house them all.

Peter Müller
July 25, 2021 8:53 am

I live in this area: The dams were too full before the flood came
Before the rain came all dams were full so they can not protect the people.

Reply to  Peter Müller
July 25, 2021 10:09 am

Based on these pages, it certainly seems that the Wupperversperre was designed to alleviate the threat posed by this storm, if it was being operated properly.

(Those should show up in English for those with the Google Translate extension.)

It seems to me that while dams are built to mitigate flooding, once built the power generation of the dam takes precedence, leaving the people at the mercy of a phantom of a flood protection system. That, clearly, would be likely in Germany where adequate power generation is a critical issue.

The nice thing about the situation involving this dam is that its construction was complete in 1987 so the cost — some 235M marks — can be more readily be compared to the cost to address the damage from the flooding.

Reply to  Peter Müller
July 25, 2021 12:45 pm

Strange drought when the dams are full. It seems that most western people have become sheep peacefully walking into the slaughterhouse. First being flooded by ‘refugees’ and now by water.

Peter Müller
Reply to  Robertvd
July 25, 2021 10:22 pm

We have 3 years of (light) drought in Germany. They said they want to save water for the next drought.comment image

Reply to  Peter Müller
July 25, 2021 3:35 pm

We had a similar issue here in Brisbane 2011. Dams full, danger known for days ahead and no action taken to reduce the water levels … because the ‘alarmist scientista’ said that we were in permanent drought ! 🙁

Reply to  Streetcred
July 25, 2021 5:34 pm

I have given details on the Brisbane 2011 floods in a reply up thread. Australia’s ex Climate Commissioner still gets air time but the Queensland Government and dam operator shared the blame in the class action.

All the government funded organisations making dud climate predictions need to be held accountable. Think of the waste that can be sheeted back to IPCC and those abetting their dud predictions.

All agencies responsible for lives, like dam operators, need to be extremely careful in defining their decision trees. If the operating guidelines are changed, it needs to be documented not ad hoc.

Reply to  RickWill
July 25, 2021 10:55 pm

Are you talking about ‘flim Flam’? There is alot that he is accountable for and I’m pretty sure he’s still giving advice. The damages and the costs due to climate mitigation are growing at a rapid rate.

Peter Müller
Reply to  Streetcred
July 26, 2021 12:33 am

I suppose the reason why the dams in Germany were full is the hydro power. A full dam produce more green power so they give up flood prevention in 2017. A local dam operator said: We don’t have flood prevention in summer (April-September), only in winter when the snow is melting.

July 25, 2021 9:06 am

In Canada there are Emergency Measures Organizations. I think they were started when we were worried about nuclear war.

We get warned about everything over our so called smart phones. That includes things like tornadoes.

How can Germany not have these things?

Reply to  commieBob
July 25, 2021 9:12 am

There is the one or the other app, but when sleeping, you even may not hear any signal.
You may here sirens, but most of them disappeared after cold war was over or are out of function.
Germany is not often heart by such catastrophes as some other countries, so the threshold is at a lower level.

Reply to  commieBob
July 25, 2021 12:49 pm

Smart phones ? You mean Big Brother phones.

Reply to  Robertvd
July 25, 2021 1:16 pm

Isn’t that smart ?? 😀

Andre Lauzon
July 25, 2021 9:17 am

Yes over here in Canada we have the EMO but we also have most TV and Radio stations financed by the Liberals so every minor event is blown way out of proportion (as per the gov’t’s agenda) and is always caused by climate change. We have very few, if any, good meteorologists. Unfortunately it is a science that very few can master.

Mark Kaiser
July 25, 2021 9:25 am

I think of the saying “If everyone is special, then no one is special”

So if everything is an ’emergency’ then nothing is an emergency.

People are so deluged with end of the world warnings that when a legitimate warning comes they have already tuned it out.

Thomas Gasloli
July 25, 2021 9:59 am

I’m sure the Germans will follow standard operating procedures for 21st century government: form a committee to do an investigation that will be filled away, in the mean time all those responsible receive promotions.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
July 25, 2021 6:00 pm

In Queensland, the residents who were flooded in the 2011 Brisbane floods won a class action against the Queensland Government and dam operator. It took a decade and was a boon for lawyers but residents did get some compensation.

The actual operating engineers faced criminal charges but were not convicted. The Climate Commissioner who predicted Australian dams would never fill again in 2007 lost his job but in 2013 but still gets air time. And the IPCC is still regarded as the Climate Change authority.

July 25, 2021 10:31 am

Once again this ignores the elephant in the room: the sheer scale of the extreme rainfall event, off the scale compared to anything experienced by modern Germany.

you might have got more people out of the way, but how do you prepare for that much water over such a wide area in such a short time?

And we see the exact same in China – A year’s rain in days? The speed of onset and amount are a whole step change above what’s seen before.

These are climate change events, as climate science predicts.

and so are the multiple/record US/Canada heatwaves, US drought, record Indian monsoon rains this week, heatwaves in E Europe, Russia , Siberia, Lapland this summer.

Nobody is ready for this stuff: everybody should be because it will be happening again.

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 10:45 am

What heatwaves in Europe ?
Next week, Germany and western Europe will have the first fall low pressure sytems, and there will be a polar split.
And it’s absolutely normal, heat here means cold elsewhere.
You are not only unable to learn, you not even have interest to look at facts.
You know Rahmstorf ? The whistle buoy of Potsdam about CC said, the direct attribution to CC of the flood event is wrong, how many headstands with handwaving you ever will exercise, that changes nothing.
And remember, climate science predicts nothing, even if you will believe it in your wet dreams

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 10:52 am

off the scale compared to anything experienced by modern Germany.

You know, Germany has an history, and, more interesting a flood history in the region of request.
The last flood I read about there was 1910 – is that more modern or more history?

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 11:26 am

“… the sheer scale of the extreme rainfall event, off the scale compared to anything experienced by modern Germany. ….”

Floods Germany 1910 …

And “modern” Germany is much better prepared — technologically, logistically, and with it’s flood protection infrastructure — to alleviate the threats posed by a not so “off the scale” rainfall event.

Reply to  Dusty
July 25, 2021 1:19 pm

And “modern” Germany is much better prepared — technologically, logistically, and with it’s flood protection infrastructure

I dare not to share your opinion to 97 %. 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 28, 2021 8:21 am

LOL. The only thing German authorities lack now authorities are the testicles … or should I say ovaries?

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 11:33 am

Once again Griffy, your delusions have taken over and you are completely disconnected from reality – I have repeatedly warned you about this but you haven’t listened.
Climate science has predicted nothing – a vague handwaving statement about ‘extreme weather’ is not a prediction in any sense of the word – it is merely a statement of fact. Speaking of statement of facts, Germany has a history of floods as major as this one, interspersed with less major floods every few years going back over 600 years – that is one hell of a natural trend and sod all to do with climate change.

Bob boder
Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 12:34 pm

Griff you are ridiculous, at any given point in time any where in the world it is likely that some extreme event is going to occur. That’s always been the case and always will be the case until we have millions of years of weather records for every point on the planet. The 2 single biggest and most deadly natural events in the last 50 years were both tsunamis, does that mean that they are global warming related? The flooding in China is not unprecedented by any means and the record breaking rain in Germany was a normal day in many parts of the world. In both cases the deaths were caused by bad government in action and bad government planning.
You commentary is as off base as your slandering of Dr Soon.

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 1:07 pm

The elephant in the room is why the people were not warned . There was a static cold bubble over Europe and that means prolonged bad weather over some regions. So this COLD weather event was intentionally used to sell a political plan to take your rights away. For those behind it the bigger the number of fatalities the better.  
And you Griff are defending these criminals. Shame on you.

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 1:49 pm

You point on climate change, climate change postulates a warmer Arktic, right ?
Look at that:

comment image

Is the Arctic warmer or colder now ? 😀

Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 1:53 pm

What do you think about the coming winter as CC occurs ?

CFS postulates very cold winter month in Europe, Sibiria and the USA:

comment image

Source Joe Bastardi out of “Saturday Summary” 7/24/21

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
July 25, 2021 4:43 pm

So tell us finally, given all the current oh-so-scary weather events, in which time period would you prefer to live your life?
[__] Benign low CO2 1675-1750
[__] “Dangerous” CO2 1950-2025

July 25, 2021 12:48 pm

Of course they don’t want to mitigate natural disasters, when they seek to exploit them for propaganda. The more people die, the stronger the lying message..

Reply to  E. Schaffer
July 26, 2021 3:06 pm

Governor Cuomo advanced the COVID narrative quite effectively by sending infected people into nursing homes in the state which is the media center of the country.

July 25, 2021 8:22 pm

It’s not over. The circulation has stopped over central Europe. Rain and thunderstorms will continue for more than a week.comment image

Reply to  ren
July 25, 2021 8:32 pm

During periods of weak solar wind, the latitudinal circulation in the northern hemisphere begins to become blocked. This is most pronounced during the winter.

July 26, 2021 6:05 am

Socialism failing to protect the people. How unsurprising.

July 26, 2021 11:03 am

Thunderstorm threat in Central Europe, including overnight.

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