Severe thunderstorms lash central Holland

11th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Heavy thunderstorms and intense downpours hit the west and the centre of Netherlands on Saturday evening, disrupting road and rail traffic, with some areas hit by hundreds of thunderbolts in just a few minutes.

Worst hit was the province of Utrecht, where a tree came down as a train was approaching, damaging some carriages and bringing down the overhead wires.

On the motorways near the city of Utrecht drivers were forced to stop on the hard shoulder as pouring rain made driving all but impossible. The authorities received dozens of calls to report damage caused by the strong winds and heavy rainfall.

At 21.00 hours the national weather service issued a Code Orange alert for lightning and severe showers, calling on people not to leave their homes unless strictly necessary.

The thunderstorms entered the country over the south-western coastal province of Zeeland and from there moved in a north-easterly direction. In some areas in the southwest, the weather service recorded up to 800 thunderbolts in the space of five minutes. Other regions were pummelled by hefty hailstones.

Numerous areas in the province of Zeeland were hit by flash floods. Lightning that struck rail track there disabled signals and point along a considerable stretch.

No one appears to have been injured by the severe weather.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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