Evacuating portions of German cities after the discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb is still a common occurrence more than 70 years after the end of the war, but it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a pain in the ass for the roughly 10,000 Berliners who had to exit central Berlin today when a 500kg (1,100lb) bomb was discovered at a construction site.
The number is quite small in comparison to other recent evacuations, which in many cases have crossed into the 50,000 evacuee territory, but shutting down the center of a city like Berlin can be quite disruptive to those outside of the 800m (2,625ft) evacuation radius.
For several hours, Berlin’s main train station was forced to shut down, as did portions of the famous Charité university hospital. While the shutdowns were no doubt a headache for these public services and residents for the hours it took to defuse the bomb on Friday, its discovery on Wednesday gave the city a few days to prepare for the shutdown.
Each year, thousands of unexploded World War II bombs are discovered across Germany, and as development continues in the country’s major cities, the number of cases isn’t expected to see a slowdown anytime soon.