Huge storm causes havoc, public told to stay indoors

18th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

18 January 2007, AMSTERDAM — The National Crisis Centre (NCC) was urging the public to stay indoors on Thursday afternoon and evening as a heavy south-westerly storm raged across the nation.

18 January 2007

AMSTERDAM — The National Crisis Centre (NCC) was urging the public to stay indoors on Thursday afternoon and evening as a heavy south-westerly storm raged across the nation.

"Stay inside. Even when you are not at your destination," the Interior Ministry's crisis centre advised.

It is the first time that the NCC has issued such a warning. It warned primarily of loose-flying objects that could hit and injure people.

The crisis centre expects the storm will continue to rage until about 9pm.

Meteorlogical bureau KNMI expects windgusts of wind strength 9 and 10 up until midnight, along the coast and inland.

Wind gusts of 110 to 130kmh per hour were being recorded across the country on Thursday afternoon.

The storm caused a large number of traffic accidents at about midday and severe problems, especially in the west of the country.

Two people were killed on the N224 near Planken Wambuis in Gelderland when a tree fell on top of their car.

An oncoming motorist also collided with the tree and was left trapped in his vehicle. The man was taken to hospital after being freed from the wreckage.

The N224 has been closed to traffic in both directions.

Six passengers were hurt in Tholen in Zeeland when their bus veered off the road and collided with a tree. Five children suffered bruises, broken noses and cuts and abrasions.

Roof paneling was blown loose at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in the departure lounges 1 and 2.

The Amsterdam fire brigade was urging people to stay indoors to avoid risk of injury from loose-flying roof panels and other structures.

The container ship Claudel was dislodged from its moorings at the Rotterdam harbour at about midday. The ship then collided with a wharf of the Maasvlakte Olie Terminal (MOT).

The accident ended in a large amount (1,600 cubic metres) of raw oil being spilled into the harbour from the MOT pipelines.

Three patrol boats from the Rotterdam port authority were deployed, but it was impossible to create a dam around the oil with a special screen because the waves were too big.

The wind was pushing the oil towards a corner in the port basin.

Fire brigade units in Zuid-Holland were also kept busy, especially in Zoetermeer where the windows of a company building were shattered.

Police in The Hague also said it is "possible" that someone from was blown into the water from the Scheveningen pier.

The strongest wind gust was reported at Schiphol, where 130kmh was recorded.

A spokesman from KNMI said that type of wind speed was very strong: "That sort of speed does not occur often".

KNMI said the storm could intensify slightly in coming hours. At any rate, the storm will continue to rage across the country into the evening hours.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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