In Amsterdam, bicyclists who venture out despite warnings from the fire department are
seen blown over or, in some cases, backward One of the fiercest storms in years battered northern Europe Thursday, killing at least 12 people, injuring others and disrupting travel for thousands.
The storm -- dubbed "Cyril" by German meteorologists -- was expected to intensify throughout the day. Hurricane-force gusts of up to 191 kph (118 mph) blasted Germany, forcing dozens of flight cancellations, prompting the national railroad to suspend services across a swath of the country and shutting schools.
"Our country has not had a storm like this in years," the Netherlands' Royal Weather Service said in a bulletin. "We advise you to follow weather alarms and messages to the letter."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, meanwhile, cut short her visit to Berlin in order to leave for London before winds worsened, landing in Britain's capital amid winds gusting up to 130 kph (80 mph).
Traffic on the Eurostar, the train service connecting Britain with continental Europe, was suspended after an electrical cable holder fell onto the tracks near the northern French city of Lille, France's national railway company said.
In Amsterdam, bicyclists who ventured out despite warnings from the fire department were seen blown over or, in some cases, backward.
City workers trying to divert cars from fallen trees watched as the wind swept their traffic cones away. The fire department warned people to stay indoors to avoid falling roof tiles and branches, and the city's historic canals were littered with fallen trash barrels, piles of toppled bikes and dozens of broken umbrellas.
The Dutch weather service compared Thursday's gale to a 1990 storm that peaked during the afternoon commute and killed 17. It reported heavy rain and recorded gusts of 130 kph (81 mph).
The first fatality Thursday was reported in Shropshire, England, where a 54-year-old man identified as Richard Heard, managing director of Birmingham Airport, was crushed in his car by a falling branch. Four others were reported killed in traffic accidents in Britain.
One man was killed on a country road in southwestern Germany when he crashed into another car as he tried to avoid a fallen tree, police in Heidelberg said.
Two people were killed by a falling tree near Arnhem, Netherlands, and one was killed the same way in Lille, France.
In Utrecht, Netherlands, a construction crane toppled onto a university building, crumpling the roof and injuring six. Later, a Dutch motorcyclist was reported killed near Utrecht after running into a fallen tree.
Outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, flags of the 25 member nations were wrapped up at half staff as a precaution.
London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's largest, canceled 123 flights. Other major airports including Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam and Vienna reported delays and cancellations.
At sea, coast guard ships and naval helicopters rescued the crew of a British container ship damaged and drifting in the English Channel, Britain's Coast Guard said.
Ferries were canceled or delayed in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland.
In Ireland and Latvia, winds kept rescue crews from helping other ships damaged or missing after storms earlier this week: seven fishermen from Ireland, Poland and Ukraine are missing and presumed dead off Ireland's coast, while Latvian rescuers were unable to attempt to salvage a Greek-owned cargo ship that ran aground Tuesday off the Baltic port of Ventspils and has been leaking oil.
A ship burst loose from its moorings near Rotterdam and smashed an oil pipeline, leaking around 1,600 cubic meters (10,000 barrels) of oil. The stench reached The Hague, 30 kilometers (20 miles) away, Dutch media said.
Source: APGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16