Storm claims first life in Germany

18th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 January 2007, Berlin (dpa) - A motorist was killed when he crashed into an uprooted tree as a powerful storm sweeping northern Europe claimed its first victim in Germany on Thursday. The man died in the southern region of Baden where wind gusts of 120 kilometres per hour were reported as the storm named Kyrill brought torrential rain and widespread disruption to Germany. Ferry services linking the mainland with North Sea islands were cancelled and people were urged to remain indoors as strong gusts of w

18 January 2007

Berlin (dpa) - A motorist was killed when he crashed into an uprooted tree as a powerful storm sweeping northern Europe claimed its first victim in Germany on Thursday.

The man died in the southern region of Baden where wind gusts of 120 kilometres per hour were reported as the storm named Kyrill brought torrential rain and widespread disruption to Germany.

Ferry services linking the mainland with North Sea islands were cancelled and people were urged to remain indoors as strong gusts of wind buffeted coastal regions.

In some parts of the country, rainfall of up to 70 litres per square metre was feared as the emergency services mobilized some 40,000 workers to help in relief operations.

"The safest place to be is indoors," said meteorologist Holger Starke of the Meteomedia weather service.

German national carrier Lufthansa cancelled 109 flights affecting 6,700 passengers and the country's main international airport at Frankfurt reported 80 cancellations.

Drivers of high-speed trains were instructed to slow down to 200 kph instead of the 300 kph they normally travel, while large trucks using motorways were advised to shelter in service stations as a precaution against the gale-force winds.

Officials in Hamburg, northern Europe's biggest port, were bracing for tides up to 3.5 metres higher than those usual for this time of year. Similar high water levels were predicted for other North Sea coastal towns.

Trees were uprooted in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and local authorities advised motorists to avoid parking their cars under trees or in low lying areas liable to flooding.

Schools closed early in several German states to allow pupils to return home before the full force of the of the most powerful storm to hit Germany in four years struck later in the day.

Travelling from west to east, the weather system was expected to hit Berlin later in the evening.

DPA

Subject: German news

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