German authorities are conducting the second-largest bomb disposal project since World War II, with 50,000 residents of the north-western city of Hanover set to evacuate their homes.
“Thirteen unexploded ordnance from the 1940s are due to be removed from the city of just over half a million on Sunday, with a hospital, seven care homes and a tyre factory due to be evacuated as part of the effort,’’ city officials said in a statement.
The city of Hanover has prepared a series of events at museums, theatres and other public venues for those who would have to leave their homes. According to city officials, it is also providing accommodation and food to evacuees.
Hanover was a frequent target of Allied bombing in the latter years of the war. In October 1943, about 261,000 bombs were reportedly dropped on the city.
German authorities are under pressure to remove unexploded ordnance from populated areas, with experts arguing that the bombs are becoming more dangerous as time goes by due to material fatigue.
Unexploded bombs from Allied aerial bombardment during World War II are found from time to time throughout Germany, often during construction works. In 2011, about 45,000 people had to be evacuated when a wartime bomb was found in the western city of Koblenz
The biggest such operation occurred on Christmas Day of 2016, with 54,000 people in the western German city of Augsburg evacuated from their homes.
In March 2017, experts successfully defused a five-ton WWII bomb in Düsseldorf after its discovery prompted the evacuation of 8,000 people.
Authorities shut down a major motorway, air traffic from Düsseldorf airport as well as railway lines.
Construction workers had discovered the bomb in Düsseldorf-Rath and city administrators set up a one-kilometer (0.62-mile) safety cordon around the bomb.
One hour after experts went in the fire department announced the success. “All clear! The bomb is defused, the closures are lifted.
World War II, also called Second World War ( 1939–45) involved virtually every part of the world. The principal belligerents were the Axis powers: Germany, Italy, and Japan and the Allies were France, Great Britain, the United States, the Soviet Union, and, to a lesser extent, China.
The war was in many respects a continuation, after an uneasy 20-year hiatus, of the disputes left unsettled by World War I. The 40,000,000–50,000,000 deaths incurred in World War II make it the bloodiest conflict, as well as the largest war, in history.