Europe

German town evacuates on Christmas morning for WWII bomb

  • A police vehicle driving through an almost empty street in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

    A police vehicle driving through an almost empty street in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police help a man to leave his apartment  in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

    Police help a man to leave his apartment in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rescuers help a woman into a car of the fure brigade after she left her home in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)

    Rescuers help a woman into a car of the fure brigade after she left her home in Augsburg, Germany, Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016. Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have temporarily left Christmas presents and decorations behind while authorities disarm a World War II bomb. The bomb was uncovered last week during construction work. (Stefan Puchner/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of people in the German town of Augsburg have left Christmas presents and decorations behind after being forced to evacuate while authorities disarm a World War II 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 an it's more likely people can stay with relatives.

Police vans with loudspeakers urged procrastinators to leave ahead of a 10 a.m. 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 aren't making any promises about how long it will take. Schools and sports facilities have been opened as shelters.