14 deaths as storms ravage northern Europe

10th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

10 January 2005, COPENHAGEN - A winter storm that swept across northern Europe over the weekend left 14 dead in Scandinavia and Britain and two people missing in northern Germany, officials said. The storm, packing winds of 180 kilometres per hour and heavy downpours, caused damage in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Britain and Ireland before dying out early on Sunday. Seven people were killed in Sweden after being hit by falling trees and other debris. Four people died in Denmark, two of them in the town of Ass

10 January 2005

COPENHAGEN - A winter storm that swept across northern Europe over the weekend left 14 dead in Scandinavia and Britain and two people missing in northern Germany, officials said.

The storm, packing winds of 180 kilometres per hour and heavy downpours, caused damage in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Britain and Ireland before dying out early on Sunday.

Seven people were killed in Sweden after being hit by falling trees and other debris. Four people died in Denmark, two of them in the town of Assens when the roof of a house fell in on them, police said.

In the North Sea city of Logstor, Denmark, authorities reported the highest water level ever in their harbour - 2.5 metres above normal. Hundreds of people had to evacuate.

Fifteen crew members of a Dutch freighter were rescued Saturday night by Danish coastguards after rough seas caused combustible material onboard to ignite, setting fire to the ship. There were no reports of casualties.

At least half a million Swedish and Danish households were left without electricity on Sunday even as the storm abated. In Sweden five of the country's 11 nuclear power reactors which generate half of the nation's electricity requirements were closed down.

The bad weather brought train services to a halt in the two Scandinavian countries and in northern Germany were two canoeists were missing after a strong gust capsized their boat on a lake.

In Britain, the northwestern English city of Carlisle was turned into a lake in the worst flooding to hit that region in 40 years. Most access roads were still underwater Sunday, cars were left floating along the streets and thousands of people were forced to flee their homes as flood waters rose. Over 80,000 residents had to spend the night without electricity.

Military helicopters rescued at least 15 people from the roofs, including a family with a baby and a 90-year-old man. Other residents fled to safety via boat.

Three people died in the city, but police were unable to say whether the deaths were a direct result of the flooding.

Travel on roads, by ship and train were also obstructed. Numerous ferry lines on the North and Baltic seas suspended service, and a ferry grounded off the coast of western Scotland near Cairnryan.

A spokeswoman for the ferry's operator, P&O, said the 43 passengers and 57 crew members spent the night on board because the weather was so poor that tugboats could not be dispatched to pull free the European Highlander, which had sailed from Northern Ireland.

No one was in danger, she added, and no one had been hurt, the Coast Guard said. The ferry was refloated early Sunday after being stuck for 30 hours.

High winds from the storm that were clocked at 140 kilometres per hour in Britain, overturned 25 lorries on highways in northern England. Numerous highways and bridges were closed because of the danger.

In Russia heavy rain flooded streets in the northern city of St Petersburg. Two women stranded in the floods were rescued from the roof of their car and taken to hospital with injuries, civil defence officials said.

In Kaliningrad high winds uprooted trees and tore down power lines. Authorities in Moscow secured high buildings, scaffolding and billboards against the stormy weather which was due to hit the Russian capital Sunday afternoon

Ferries from Rostock, Germany, to Gedser, Denmark, were cancelled in the Baltic but were resumed Sunday morning. The same was true for the ferry line from Sassnitz on the German island of Ruegen to Sweden's Trelleborg.

In the North Sea, ferries between Hirtshals, Denmark, to Larvik, Norway, also remained in their harbours Saturday.

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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