Experts in Germany have to defuse five Second World War bombs near Hanover, as 50,000 residents are evacuated from their homes on Sunday (7 May). The buildings being emptied include seven care homes and a clinic, although officials hope residents can return home by Sunday evening.

Explosives experts are investigating the area around the Vahrenwald in the north of the city to ascertain how many bombs could be buried there. It is believed there could be bombs in 13 locations in and around the Lower Saxony capital.

The operation is the second largest of its kind in Germany and affects almost one-tenth of Hanover's population. Train travel will be affected in the Hanover area.

Many trains will not stop at the central train station from early afternoon and there will be replacement stops in Wolfsburg, Lehrte, Wunstorf and the station at Hanover Messe/Laatzen.

Thousands of helpers along with bomb disposal experts are assisting in the operation, with hundreds of ambulances ready in case of emergencies.

The city of Hanover has planned many activities for those affected, including a gaming afternoon for senior citizens, children's film viewings and museum tours.

Hanover was the focus of many attacks by the Allies during the Second World War. The fiercest assault was on 9 October 1943, when 261,000 bombs were dropped on the city, killing 1,245 people and leaving 250,000 homeless.

The largest evacuation since Second World War was in Augsburg, Bavaria, on Christmas Eve in 2016, the Local reported. Around 54,000 people were required to leave their homes when a 3.8 tonne UK-manufactured bomb was discovered during building work.

Between 1940 and 1945, British and US military dropped more than one million tons of bombs on Germany. Seventy years after the Second World War ended, it is around 2,000 tons of unexploded munitions are discovered in Germany every year, according to the Smithsonian.

Horst Reinhardt, chief of the Brandenburg state Kampfmittelbeseitigungsdienst (KMBD), the organisation responsible for bomb disposal, said: "People simply don't know that there's still that many bombs under the ground."