Luxembourg weather website was offline ahead of storms
Updates about weekend storms headed for Luxembourg were unavailable on the national weather forecaster's website, which was offline with technical problems for four days, MeteoLux said on Monday.
“The company which manages our website is encountering technical problems,” Martina Reckwerth, head of the country’s meteorological department, said in a statement before service was restored on Monday afternoon.
The outage meant that online updates were unavailable on Saturday as Meteolux warned in emails that storms packing hail and wind gusts of up to 70 km per hour were possible.
A two-hour thunderstorm on Saturday turned streets in the southern Belgian town of Dinant, about 100km west of Troisvierges in northern Luxembourg, turned the Meuse River into torrents that washed away cars, multiple media organisations reported.
Despite the website outage, forecasts from MeteoLux were available via a range of methods including a 24 hour telephone number, email newsletter and apps on Apple and Google Play, the government statement said.
The outage came just over a week after the country was hit by flooding which damaged homes and businesses at an estimated cost of €120 million, according to the trade association for insurers. Luxembourg insurers have so far reported damage to 6,000 homes and 1,000 vehicles in the aftermath of the downpours.
Some residents in areas hit hardest by the heavy flooding said they had expected more detailed guidance than the weather warnings posted on government websites and broadcast on radio.
There have been calls for the government to implement an improved phone notification system that delivered up-to-date warnings to smartphones, which happens in Japan when a tsunami is expected to hit.