In a flooded part of Germany, the high-tech warning sirens failed. But a monk ringing the medieval ‘storm bell’ sounded the alarm.

Aerial view of Germany flooding
An aerial view of Erftstadt-Blessem, Germany, after severe flooding in July 2021. About 37 miles (60km) from Beyenburg. Rhein-Erft-Kreis/Reuters
  • Germany was hit by devastating flooding in recent weeks.
  • In Beyenburg, western Germany, the modern alert system failed on July 14.
  • A monk used a medieval bell system to alert residents instead, local media said.
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A monk used a medieval bell system to alert people to flooding as a modern alarm system failed.

The Church Times reported that a modern early-warning system failed in Beyenburg on July 14.

The Wuppertaler Rundschau newspaper reported that Brother Dirk, a member of the Order of the Cross in the Steinhaus Abbey in Beyenburg, rang a storm bell to alert people.

It reported that his ringing “alerted numerous local residents.”

The Church Times reported that the bell had been in place as a warning system since the Middle Ages.

Germany has been battling devastating flooding that has killed at least 100 people.