The death toll from hurricane-force Storm Xaver sweeping
across northern Europe rose to six when high winds hurled a
tree limb against a car, killing three people, local
emergency services said.
Xaver blasted into northern Europe late on Thursday (local
time) after disrupting transport and power in northern
Britain and flooding east coast areas in what meteorologists
said could prove the worst storm to hit the continent in
Two people were killed in Britain as winds reached speeds of
225kmh. A truck driver died when his vehicle overturned and a
man was killed by a falling tree.
In western Denmark the 72-year-old female passenger of a
truck died when the vehicle overturned in howling winds.
In Poland, three people died and one was injured in the town
of Poraj when a tree limb was blown onto their car," Piotr
Cholajda at the state firefighting headquarters said.
He said high winds had downed electricity lines, leaving more
than 100,000 people around the eastern European country of 38
million without power.
The Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management
forecast wind gusts on Friday of up to 110kmh inland and up
to 135kmh off Poland's Baltic seacoast.
Poland's flagship airline LOT cancelled some domestic and
European flights on Friday due to "unexpected weather changes
Thousands of Britons evacuated from their homes on low-lying
east coast areas on Thursday were warned of further woes on
Friday in the form of "exceptionally high tides" - the most
serious tidal surge for more than 60 years.
Sea levels are higher in some areas than during devastating
floods of 1953 that killed hundreds along the North Sea
Speaking after an emergency government meeting on Friday,
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said flood defences
strengthened since 1953 had protected more than 800,000
Almost 8,000 people remained without power in Scotland where
80,000 people lost electricity on Thursday, according to
energy company SSE.
In Germany, about 4000 people in the northern state of
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern had no power on Friday, schools were
closed and about 70 flights at Hamburg airport were
Officials said floodwaters in the northern German port city
of Hamburg rose to 6.09 meters above normal levels early on
Friday, the highest level in decades. All 38 flood-gates in
Hamburg were closed earlier on Friday.
A high-speed rail line running 300 km between Germany's two
largest cities Hamburg and Berlin was blocked on Friday by
debris on the tracks. Stranded passengers were transferred to
buses, according to Deutsche Bahn officials.