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Storm Friederike batters Germany with hurricane-strength winds

Storm Friederike batters Germany with hurricane-strength winds

At least five people were killed in "Friederike", the heaviest storm that ravaged Germany in 11 years, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported Thursday in an update.

Italy was hit with strong winds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, causing property damage, train and ferry cancellations.

At least six other people died and dozens more were injured across central and northern Germany as Thursday's storm felled trees and brought major difficulties to the transport network.

A 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree near Emmerich, and a 68-year-old man in North Rhine-Westphalia lost control of his transporter in the strong winds and died.

A powerful storm system left widespread travel chaos across much of Europe on Thursday.

The storm has now crossed to Poland.

Storm Friederike batters Germany with hurricane-strength winds
Storm Friederike batters Germany with hurricane-strength winds

Rail services in North Rhine-Westphalia and parts of Rhineland-Palatinate, in the west of the country, remained suspended and would not resume service Friday, according to Deutsche Bahn.

Many regional services were also cancelled. Deutsche Bahn also had to cancel service for a number of long-distance trains on 18 January as a result of the storm.

Many trees were uprooted by the force of the storm which saw winds of up to 130 kilometres per hour (80 miles per hour) while others worked to fix damage to the lines, it said.

The German Insurance Association said 500 million euros of damage was caused by the country's worst storm in more than a decade, although it was only a quarter of that inflicted by another deadly tempest in 2007, which cost some two billion euros.

Meanwhile, baby Anton was born during the storm in his parents' auto in the western city of Cologne as traffic chaos unleashed by the extreme weather stopped them from getting to the clinic in time.

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