December 4, 2023

Many deaths from storm “Ciaran” in Western Europe

Heavy rain and wind are causing chaos in Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain and the Netherlands. Many people die in accidents caused by falling trees.

Cyclone “Ciaran” hit northwest France and southwest England on Thursday night, with severe gusts and waves before the autumn storm hit the Netherlands and Germany. At least seven people were killed and many others injured, officials said. In front of her family, a woman from Bavaria was killed by a falling tree on the Horseshoe Mountain.

Two people died and 15 were injured in France, including seven firefighters, Interior Minister Gérald Dormanin announced. A lorry driver died when a tree fell on him. At Le Havre, a man was fatally injured by a gust of wind while closing his shutters. About 1.2 million homes were without power and hundreds of thousands of people were cut off from mobile communications. Roads and rail lines were blocked by fallen trees. There was significant property damage. 13,500 firefighters responded to approximately 3,500 missions. More than 1,300 people were brought to safety.

Schools were closed in Great Britain and there was no shipping in the English Channel

Local winds were gusting to 200 kilometers per hour. A high storm warning level, red, has been in effect since midnight for three French departments: Finistère, Côtes-d’Armor and Manche, and a high flood warning level has also been announced for two of them. “Ciaran” also caused significant disruption in southern England. Hundreds of schools were closed and the port of Dover halted shipping across the English Channel for several hours.

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All flights to the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney have been cancelled. Police forced 35 Jersey residents into hotels after homes were damaged by the storm. In Cornwall, south-west England, more than 8,500 households were left without power. Flood warnings are in effect at 54 locations on the South Coast.

In Kozlar, Lower Saxony, a 46-year-old woman from Bavaria was killed by a falling tree, local police said. The Gosler County Fire Department said the storm was “significantly stronger” in Horse than expected. According to information received in the afternoon, two country roads had to be closed due to fallen trees. Fire departments in North Rhine-Westphalia also reported increased storm activity, for example due to falling trees.

One person died after Cyclone Ciaran hit the Netherlands. The police said that the person died after a tree fell in Venre. In The Hague, people were injured after falling trees, including a woman. Bike riders were also affected by falling trees and branches.

Wind speed in Spain is 150 km/h

According to the Met Office, winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour will be expected in Spain. A red alert is in effect for several coastal areas in the northwest. The Meteorological Department has warned that waves will rise up to nine meters high. A woman has died after a tree fell in the center of Madrid.

Airports in Bilbao and many flights in Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country were cancelled. Train traffic was also disrupted at some places. Spanish authorities called on people to spend as little time outside as possible.

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In Portugal, the Met Office has issued a red alert for coastal areas in the center and north of the country. However, according to him, the country is unlikely to be directly affected by the storm.

A phone storm is expected in Austria on Thursday and Friday. But it is not as big as Great Britain or France. According to Geosphere Austria, a strong southerly phone with winds peaking at 90 km/h is expected at the front of the depression. Wind gusts of up to 100 kmph are possible in some exposed areas. (APA)