German town evacuated on Christmas Day over WWII bomb

Police vans with loudspeakers urge people to leave as 54,000 residents clear out

Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have left Christmas presents and decorations behind after being forced to evacuate their homes while authorities disarm a Second World War bomb.

The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work in the city’s historic central district. Police say Christmas Day is the best time to defuse it because there is less traffic and it is more likely people can stay with relatives.

Police vans with loudspeakers urged procrastinators to leave, ahead of a 10am deadline.

Some 32,000 homes with 54,000 residents are in the evacuation zone. Christmas morning services at the medieval cathedral with its famed boys’ choir were moved to another church.


Police are not making any promises about how long it will take. Schools and sports facilities have been opened as shelters.