Storm lashes UK, France, Netherlands
Waves crash against the seafront as a train travels along the coastal railway line at Dawlish in Devon, south west England October 28, 2013. REUTERS photoA strong storm battered Oct. 28 Britain, the Netherlands and parts of France, killing three people, cutting power and forcing hundreds of plane and train cancellations as it moved on across mainland Europe.
Winds of up to 160 kilometers per hour lashed southern England and Wales, disrupting the travel plans of millions of commuters - the worst storm recorded in Britain in a decade.
London’s Heathrow Airport, Europe’s busiest, cancelled at least 130 flights and express trains between central London and Gatwick and Stansted airports were suspended. Huge waves prompted the major English port of Dover to close, cutting off ferry services to France. About 180,000 customers in Britain were left without power in one of the worst storms to hit England since the 1987 “Great Storm” which killed 18 people and felled around 15 million trees.
Thousands of homes in northwestern France also lost electricity, while in the Netherlands several rail lines shut down, airport delays were reported. Dutch citizens were warned against riding their bicycles - a favored form of transport - because of the high winds, and Amsterdam’s central railway station was shut down by storm damage.
A 17-year-old girl was killed when a tree fell onto her home while she slept in the county of Kent, southeast of London, while a man in his 50s was killed when a tree crushed his car in the town of Watford, just north of the capital.
Thin volumes on London’s financial markets suggested many traders had been stuck at home. A crane smashed into the Cabinet Office, a ministry in the heart of London, forcing Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to cancel a press conference.
Heavy winds also swept across the low-lying Netherlands, uprooting trees and shutting down all train traffic to Amsterdam. A woman was killed and two people were seriously hurt by falling trees in the Dutch capital and a ferry carrying 1,000 people from the English city of Newcastle was unable to dock in the port of IJmuiden and returned to sea, RTL television said.
Fifty flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were cancelled and Rotterdam Port, Europe’s busiest, said incoming and outgoing vessels were delayed.