British WWII bomb forces evacuation of Koblenz
Plans are being made to evacuate nearly half the residents of Koblenz next weekend so that a 1.8 tonnes British WWII bomb found in the Rhine River can be defused. Two hospitals and a prison are within the evacuation zone.
The enormous bomb, dropped by the Royal Air Force, was only discovered thanks to the unusually low level of the Rhine, due to a severe lack of rain over the last few weeks.
The bomb disposal situation has been complicated by the discovery of two more, smaller bombs in the mud nearby.
The Koblenz city council said around 45,000 people will have to move, that is around 42 percent of the city’s population, in what will be the biggest evacuation in its history.
An evacuation radius of 1.8 kilometres has been decided upon. This means 700 patients at two hospitals will have to be moved, as well as the residents of seven old people’s homes and prisoners in a jail. The city’s main train station will also have to be emptied as well as several hotels.