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Severe Storm Kills Three in the Netherlands, One in Germany

Severe Storm Kills Three in the Netherlands, One in Germany

Thursday, 18 January, 2018 - 16:15
A man who escaped unharmed makes a phone call after his scooter was hit by a crashing tree uprooted by heavy winds in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Four people have been killed by falling trees or debris as a fierce storm lashed Europe with high winds and snow Thursday, grounding flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, halting trains and blowing over trucks in several countries.

Three people were killed in the Netherlands and a man died in Germany on Thursday as powerful winds toppled trees, blew trucks off the road and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

All flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were suspended for a time and no trains are running anywhere in the Netherlands as gusts of up to 140 kph (85 mph) were recorded along the coast.

At least 260 flights were scrapped and falling roof tiles led to the closure of airport terminals. Nationwide train services and many tram and bus services were halted after the highest weather alert was issued.

Police said three people were killed by falling trees or debris in separate incidents.

In Rotterdam, shipping containers were toppled and entire roofs ripped off homes.

Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.

Storm in Germany

High winds have also toppled trees and caused structural damage in western regions of Germany, where the storm is called "Friederike".

A falling tree killed a 59-year-old man in Emmerich near the Dutch border, a spokesman for the town said.

The national train operator, Deutsche Bahn, had already suspended rail traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), neighboring Rhineland-Palatinate state and Lower Saxony.

NRW - the home of major Ruhr industries - is Germany's most populous state. Those trains still running in Germany have cut their speed because of the strong winds.

Dozens of flights are also being canceled in Germany - at Cologne/Bonn airport every fourth flight has been scrapped.

An emergency siren wailed in the city of Duisburg, warning residents that they should stay indoors, German news website WDR reported.

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