Storms hit northern Europe

news: Storms hit northern Europe

AT LEAST 14 people have been killed as strong winds and severe floods wreaked havoc in northern Europe. Three people have died in Britain, seven in Sweden and four in Denmark.

Across the affected countries, tens of thousands of homes have been left without power, airports, rail networks, bridges and roads have been closed, dozens of North Sea ferry routes were cancelled and, in southern Sweden, two nuclear reactors were temporarily shut. Thousands of people in Carlisle, Britain’s worst hit city, were moved into temporary accommodation as some 70,000 homes lost power in the floods.

The Baltic States were also badly hit, with flooding in many coastal towns. Estonia suffered power cuts and Latvia’s government declared an electricity crisis after 60 per cent of the country’s 2.4 million population were left without power. Bridges, ferries and trains in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein were shut and a ferry ran aground on Scotland’s west coast, causing the 100 people on board to remain there overnight.

Four motorists were killed in Sweden when trees were blown onto their cars and three others died in accidents caused by the winds that reached speeds of up to 150kmph. In Denmark, two people died when uprooted trees fell onto their vehicles and a further two were killed due to a dislodged roof. In northern England, a man was crushed after a barn collapsed on his caravan and two elderly women died in flooded properties.

The Tallinn weather station reported 12-metre high waves in the Gulf of Finland and weather forecasters in Britain said this was probably one of the worst storms to hit the country for 16 years.