Powerful storm kills 6 in Europe

Esequiel Farfan
Enero 21, 2018

Falling trees killed two 62-year-old men in the Netherlands, a woman south of the Belgian capital of Brussels, a 59-year-old man camping in the German town of Emmerich and a firefighter in the German town of Bad Salzungen.

The traffic chaos also plagued the roads, with the Dutch national traffic office reporting 66 trucks had been toppled over by the high winds causing huge traffic jams on the motorways, the highest recorded number since 1990.

Germany halted all long-distance rail traffic for at least a day, while numerous domestic flights were scrapped as hurricane-force winds lashed the country. On Friday, travel resumed in the areas hit hardest by the storm, but the recovery was slow in some regions. In German's eastern state of Brandenburg, police said a gust of wind flipped a truck over a highway, killing the driver. "The decision to put the safety of our passengers and staff above everything else was the right one", he said, referring to the decision to halt all long-distance trains during the storm.

The airport also had to close the entrances to two of its three departure halls when some roof tiles were whipped off the terminal building.

In western Germany, some 100,000 people were left without electricity and schools closed down.

The storm lashing across western Europe has killed one person in Belgium and overwhelmed emergency response centers through much of the nation.

At least 11 people were killed by the storm, which brought winds topping 90mph. They say another 62-year-old man died in the eastern city of Enschede after a falling tree hit his auto.

An ICE train of the Deutsche Bahn is stopped on the track between Hannover and Goettingen near the village of Lamspringe Germany
An ICE train of the Deutsche Bahn is stopped on the track between Hannover and Goettingen near the village of Lamspringe Germany

Normality and order slowly returned to Germany on Friday after it was battered by winter storm "Friederike".

In Britain, power was knocked out to thousands of homes.

NS, the Dutch national railway company announced that "due to the storm all trains are halted until further notice" apart from a small local service in northern Groningen and southern Limburg.

Water authorities in the low-lying nation closed an inflatable storm barrier east of Amsterdam to prevent flooding as the storm pushed up water levels.

In neighboring Belgium, the port of Ghent closed down because of the high winds and tram traffic was halted in parts of Brussels.

KLM and Schiphol warned of disruptions caused by Thursday's strong winds with the airport reporting scores of canceled or delayed flights.

Trains were also taking a battering, with many delays and cancelations, including between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn due to what the national rail service called a collision between a train and a trampoline.

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