Montag, 27. Januar 2014

After the winter storm.

Early in December 2013 cyclone "Xaver", a winter storm, affected northern Europe.

Force 12 winds and heavy snowfall were predicted along the storm's path, and there were warnings of a significant risk of storm surge leading to coastal flooding along the coasts of the North and Irish Seas.

German authorities reported waves up to six metres high,
which were the second highest on record since 1825.

Winter storm Xaver affected our beloved vacation island Sylt, one of the North Frisian Islands, as well.  

Sylt, seen from the south, aereal shot [source: Wikipedia, photo by Ralf Roletschek]
Right after Christmas we had the chance to travel to Sylt again, and one of our first beach walks took us the southern tip of the island, known as Hoernum Odde.

There the storm caused the biggest loss of land - more precisely: the tremendous loss of sand dunes.

The most obvious damages / loss of dunes we found here:

This dune, with a wodden visitor platform and a radar beacon on its top, used to be more than 50 meters away from the beach in summertime 2013!!!

The concrete block in the left was the basis of the radar beacon;  now it's a kind of landmark on the beach.

The dune chain has protected the houses at the southern edge of the town of Hoernum for ages.
Now they are gone. 
And many houses are now without their protected barrier - let's wait and see what will happen when the next severe storm arrives...

Some buffons (?) / wise guys (!) already predicted the end ("das Ende") of Sylt's southern tip - and built up the "Ende" sign from the flotsam where dunes several meters high stood some weeks ago.

Of course the strong winds of the storm conjured some beautiful stuctures on the beach, too.

So there's not really a reason yelp or whine... ;-)

Everything will fall into place again.



  1. really interesting, thanks for sharing ! well done , ciao

  2. Ah, it's so sad to hear about the storm and the resulting loss of the dunes. Nature has its ways, and of course they are more often mysterious for us to decode. But, I believe that beauty is always there, like in these pictures, like in this post, which has been highlighted in hope. I wish everything falls into place again and the houses stay protected from any kind of danger in future.

  3. Thanks a lot, Massimo and Arti, for your kind comments!

  4. Hi Uwe,

    Lovely to discover your blog and many thanks for visiting me.
    Interesting post and how sad when the storms effect the beaches. Some of our sand dunes on the beaches have also eroded away and people are trying to stop the erosion by planting grasses that will hold the banks better.
    happy day

  5. Amazing how really lovely those finally sandy shots are considering what a terrible storm they had just come through.

  6. Thanks for visting in my blog. It was nice to find your blog. Impressive post and photos.

  7. The end of 2013 was very windy!! ( that a word..?) :D

  8. Wow, it's interesting to see the aftermath of the storm. Pictures do say a 1000 words.
    They are beautiful shots.
    Thanks for linking with Communal Global today!

  9. These are incredible shots. So sad for the devastation. Hopefully everything will be righted soon.

  10. Wenn auch spät.....alles Gute für 2014 und viele schöne Tage auf Sylt.Ich mag Föhr und Amrum! Die Schäden nach dem Sturm sind whrlich heftig ...aber die Friesen kriegen das schon wieder hin....

  11. Huge storm do indeed take a large chunk of our beaches away!
    Many houses in France have vanished or are in peril after the bad weather we had this winter.
    You have taken lovely photos!
    Thanks for sharing this!

  12. Thank all y'all for stopping by on the island of Sylt and leaving your kind & stormy comments! ;-)

  13. Six meters high waves are like tunami or harsher than that because of the faster speed. I imagine how fearful the people of Sylt were! And, the affected people in other regions, too. In the photos, the scars left by the winter storm are still visible, but you captured them poetically with hope, evoking the mixed feeling of loss and the feeling "It can’t be helped regarding the natural disaster, we will rise up."