The bomb disposal team stand next to the World War II bomb they made safe in Augsburg, southern Germany, during a mass evacuation on December 25, 2016.
CNN  — 

More than 50,000 people had to be evacuated from a city in south Germany on Christmas Day after a 1.8-ton World War II bomb was found there.

The bomb was discovered last week in Augsburg, during construction work on an underground car park.

An evacuation area more than a mile (1.5 kilometers) in radius was announced for December 25, including 32,000 households and around 54,000 inhabitants.

Residents were told to be out of their homes by 10 a.m. at the latest, and evacuation centers were set up in local schools and gymnasiums.

Just after 7 p.m., the city’s official Facebook account announced the bomb had been successfully defused and the evacuation was over.

Photos showed Augsburg’s mayor, Kurt Gribl, going into the pit where the bomb was sitting to thank the work crews who had given up their Christmas to work on the explosive.

“Aircraft bomb disarmed – these brave men are the real heroes of this historical day. Thank you deep down from the heart,” Gribl said on his Twitter account.

The city also confirmed in a statement that the bomb was a British one that had been dropped on the city in World War II.

Police cars and an ambulance are seen beside a road block on an empty street in Augsburg, southern Germany, during a mass evacuation on Christmas Day.

Authorities had previously decided to wait to defuse the device until Christmas, as there was no immediate danger from the bomb.

In Germany, families hold their main celebration on Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day as in many other Christian countries.

More than 70 years after the end of the second World War, unexploded bombs are still causing problems across Europe.

In August 2015, a 250 kilogram (550 pound) bomb was discovered on a construction site in East London, forcing a late-night evacuation while it was defused.

One year earlier, in January 2014, a bulldozer struck an unexploded bomb in Euskirchen, Germany, killing one person and injuring others.