Windwurf Nov2018_Südtirol.jpeg

Damages caused by storm Vaia © Josef Schmiedhofer


More clarity on the dimension of damages

Article by Gerd Ebner (translated by Eva Guzely) | 03.12.2018 - 10:46

1.1 million m³ in Carinthia

In Carinthia, which has been most hit by storm Vaia, considerable volumes of damaged wood have also been reported in the districts of Spittal and Hermagor with an estimated 400,000 m³ in each. Another 100,000 m³ have been damaged in the districts of Villach and Völkermarkt as well as 100,000 m³ in the remaining districts. This brings the total of damaged trees in Carinthia to 1.1 million m³.

In Tyrol, the volume remains stable at 500,000 m³, whereas 250,000 m³ have been reported in Styria. So far, 350,000 m³ of wood damaged in the federal states of Salzburg, Upper and Lower Austria have not been reported.

Surveys continue

The situation is less clear in Slovenia and Italy. In Slovenia, estimates range from 250,000 to 500,000 m³ which are supposedly lying on the ground along the border with Carinthia. In Italy, 8.5 to 9 million m³ are believed to have been damaged in the Veneto region – and thus considerably less than the 15 million m³ estimated before. In Italy, the wider area of the Northern city of Belluno has been most hit with 7 million m³ of damaged wood only in this area. This would bring the total to about 13 million m³.

Many question marks

As of yet, it is unclear,

  • which types of trees are affected,
  • if and how much wood can be transported/sawn,
  • what authorisation procedures are going to look like.

Among other things, one consideration is to bring usable log wood from the Veneto region to Eastern Tyrol by truck and then on to the Austrian sawmills by train.

In Southern Tyrol, the situation is made easier thanks to the good forest road infrastructure. However, one must not forget that 1.5 million m³ of trees are lying on the ground in a region with a maximum cutting capacity of 500,000 m³ a year.

In Italy as well as in Carinthia, the forestry sector is disappointed by sawmills’ and log merchants’ first offers. The reported prices for logs will not be published here, though. In Upper Carinthia, fresh wood prices have been cut by about 10 €/m³ already one week after the catastrophe.

Storm damages Vaia | 2018
Preliminary data on wood damaged by storm Vaia at the end of October in Central Europe (as of 20 November 2018, 12:00 MEZ)
Region Volume (in m³) Notes
Veneto 8,500,000 most recent estimate: 8.5 to 9 million m³
Trentino 2,000,000 most recent estimate
Southern Tyrol 1,500,000 first official survey
Carinthia 1,100,000 official data
Friuli 1,000,000 no official data
Eastern Tyrol 400,000 official
Upper/Lower Austria/Salzburg 350,000 “collective estimate” by the Agricultural Chamber of Austria
Slovenia 250,000 estimate: up to 500,000 m³
Styria 250,000 first official survey
Switzerland 200,000 no official data
Northern Tyrol 100,000 first official survey
Bavaria 100,000 most recent estimate
Piedmont no official data published as of yet
Total 15,750,000  
Italy ~ 13,000,000




windthrow volume per country (official numbers and preliminary estimates)

Austria 2,200,000
Switzerland 200,000
Germany 100,000