Major storm hits northern Europe with hurricane-force winds, at least 10 killed

Major storm hits northern Europe with hurricane-force winds, at least 10 killed

A powerful windstorm swept over northern Europe on January 18, 2018, killing at least 10 people. Officials in the Netherlands reported winds up to 120 km/h (74 mph) and gusts to 140 km/h (87 mph) at the height of the storm while Germany saw winds up to 203 km/h (126 mph). According to the German Weather Service (DWD), this was the worst storm to strike Germany since 2007.​

The storm grounded all flights at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, one of the busiest in Europe, and halted trains, trams and buses nationwide as weather officials issued a red alert for wind. At least 66 trucks were blown over by the strong winds.

The storm reached its height between 10:00 and 12:00 CET and the country is now slowly returning to normal.

Strong winds have also affected Germany, downing trees and causing structural damage in its western regions.

The national train operator suspended traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate state and Lower Saxony. Trains still running elsewhere in Germany have cut their speed because of the strong winds, the BBC reported.

Dozens of flights were in the country were also canceled.

Deutscher Wetterdienst reported winds of 203 km/h (126 mph) on Brocken peak in northern Germany, and up to 134 km/h (83 mph) in Frankenberg.

Power was knocked down to some 49 000 homes in Britain, mostly in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Norfolk Police said it was dealing with an 'unprecedented' number of calls in relation to the bad weather.

Residents were advised not to travel unless there is a critical need. "Stay at home where you are safe," the police said.

Update

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), this was the worst storm to strike Germany since 2007.

The Dutch national traffic office said at least 66 trucks have been toppled over by the high winds, the highest recorded number since 1990.

Reports received by late January 18 mention 6 deaths in Germany, including two firefighters and two truck drivers whose vehicles were blown over. 3 people died in Netherlands and 1 person in Belgium

Featured image credit: Johan Boef

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