European Storm World News

Storms in Europe

Deadly storm batters Europe
Britain and Germany hit hardest, with at least 27 dead overall in several countries
Last Updated: Friday, January 19, 2007 | 12:02 AM ET
CBC News

The worst storm in years is pounding Northern Europe, killing at least 27 people, knocking out power for tens of thousands and bringing most travel to a standstill.

Britain and Germany were hit hardest, with snow, rain and wind gusts reaching up to 190 kilometres per hour in some areas on Thursday. Scotland saw up to 25 centimetres of snow.

At least nine people were reported dead in Britain alone, including a two-year-old boy who was killed by a falling wall in London.

Winds of up to 160 km/h roared through England. Many roads in the capital were closed because of debris blowing off buildings.

Europe’s busiest highway, the M-25 around London, had traffic jams stretching for kilometres after a single gust of wind in early afternoon knocked three trucks onto their sides.

Hundreds of flights, ferry and train trips were cancelled across Britain.

Europeans cancel flights, train services

Storm-related deaths were also reported in France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Strong winds in Germany forced dozens of flight cancellations, prompted the national railway to suspend services across the country and shut schools.

Most long-distance train services in Germany were suspended.

In Utrecht, the Netherlands, strong winds made a construction crane topple onto a university building, crumpling the roof and injuring six people.

In Amsterdam, bicyclists were blown over or, in some cases, blown backward. The city’s historic canals were littered with fallen trash barrels, piles of toppled bikes and dozens of broken umbrellas.

Traffic on the Eurostar, the train service connecting Britain with continental Europe through the Channel Tunnel, was suspended after an electrical cable holder fell onto the tracks near Lille in northern France, France’s national railway company said.

Heathrow Airport, Europe’s largest, cancelled 280 flights. Other major airports — including Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam and Vienna — reported delays and cancellations.

In Ireland and Latvia, winds kept rescue crews from helping other ships damaged or missing after storms earlier in the week.

Seven fishermen from Ireland, Poland and Ukraine are missing and presumed dead off the Irish coast, while Latvian rescuers were unable to attempt to salvage a cargo ship that ran aground Tuesday off the Baltic port Ventspils and has been leaking oil.

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