World News

Amsterdam's Schiphol scraps all flights due to storm

Amsterdam's Schiphol scraps all flights due to storm

The Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued a weather alert in the country's east but said that winds were starting to ease.

Scores of flights and trains were cancelled in the Netherlands and drivers were warned to stay off the roads as the country was hit by a powerful storm that was set to lash large parts of Europe.

"Due to severe weather conditions: all air traffic has been suspended until further notice", Schiphol airport, one of Europe's busiest flight hubs, said in a tweet.

Dutch police said one man was killed near the eastern village of Olst when he got out of his vehicle to move a branch off the road and was hit by another branch.

Amsterdam's Schiphol briefly halted flights for an hour in the morning, and airline KLM scrapped more than 200 flights even before the storm arrived.

Trains were also taking a battering, with many delays and cancellations, including between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn due to what the national rail service called a collision between a train and a trampoline.

More news: Koreas to form their first joint Olympic team

The hub scrapped 260 flights amid gusts of almost 90mph (140kph).

In Germany, police reported several injuries as well as the four deaths and the national railway company suspended long-distance trains across the country as train tracks were littered with fallen trees.

Flights from Amsterdam to Dublin have also been delayed and cancelled.

A 59-year-old man was killed instantly when a tree fell on him in North Rhine-Westphalia state, German police said, as wind speeds attained a high of 203 kilometres an hour (126mph) at the Brocken - the highest peak of northern Germany. Toppled power lines and trees damaged homes and snarled traffic.

In Romania, snowstorms and high winds forced the closure of dozens of schools, several main roads and Black Sea ports, and thousands of people were left without electricity. Interior Minister Carmen Dan said Thursday that some 32,000 people had no power.

In neighbouring Belgium, a woman driver reportedly died when her vehicle was crushed by a tree as she was travelling through a wood in the Grez-Doiceau area, about 35 kilometres south of Brussels.


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