Tuesday 24 April 2018

Savage St Jude storm batters Europe

The savage coastal storm powered by hurricane-force gusts that hit Britain also struck western Europe, causing at least 13 deaths, including six in Germany.

It was one of the worst storms to hit the region in years. The deadly tempest had no formal name, but it was dubbed the St Jude storm, after the patron saint of lost causes, and stormageddon on social networks.

The Danish capital of Copenhagen yesterday saw record gusts of up to 120mph and an autobahn in central Germany was shut down by gusts of up to 62mph.

All across the region, people were warned to stay indoors. Hundreds of trees were uprooted or split, blocking roads and crushing cars. The Dutch were told to leave their beloved bicycles at home for safety's sake.

Germany had six deaths, and the Netherlands and Denmark had one each. One woman was also missing after being swept into the surf in France.

A man in Denmark was killed when a brick flew off and hit him in the head.

DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Ferries wait beyond the harbour wall as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break on the shore on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Ferries wait beyond the harbour wall as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break on the shore on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves, produced by storm force winds, break on the shore on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
PORTHLEVEN, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves, produced by storm force winds, break along the coast at Porthleven on October 28, 2013 in Cornwall, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
PORTHLEVEN, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: A member of the public watches large waves, produced by storm force winds break along the coast at Porthleven on October 28, 2013 in Cornwall, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
PORTHLEVEN, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: A member of the public watches large waves, produced by storm force winds break along the coast at Porthleven on October 28, 2013 in Cornwall, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
PORTHLEVEN, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves, produced by storm force winds break along the coast at Porthleven on October 28, 2013 in Cornwall, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Members of the public watch as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Members of the public watch as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Members of the public watch as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Members of the public watch as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: A child is blown over as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places.. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves produced by storm force winds break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Members of the public watch as large waves, produced by storm force winds, break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
DOVER, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Large waves produced by storm force winds break against the harbour wall on October 28, 2013 in Dover, England. Approximately 220,000 homes are without power and two deaths have been recorded after much of southern England has been affected by a severe storm. Transport links on road, rail, air and sea have been severely disrupted by hurricane-force winds that have almost reached 100 mph in places. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
A collapsed tree lies across a road in Hounslow, west London October 28, 2013. Britain's strongest storm in a decade battered southern regions on Monday, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations, cutting power lines and disrupting the travel plans of millions of commuters. Winds of up to 99 miles per hour (160 km per hour) lashed southern England and Wales in the early hours of Monday, shutting down rail services in some areas during rush hour. REUTERS/Toby Melville (BRITAIN - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY)
People watch as waves crash against the harbour wall at Porthcawl in south Wales October 28, 2013. Britain's strongest storm in a decade battered southern regions on Monday, forcing hundreds of flight cancellations, cutting power lines and disrupting the travel plans of millions of commuters. Winds of up to 99 miles per hour (160 km per hour) lashed southern England and Wales in the early hours of Monday, shutting down rail services in some areas during rush hour. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY DISASTER)

Nearly 1,100 passengers had to ride out the storm on a heaving ferry from Newcastle in Britain to the Dutch port of Ijmuiden after strong winds and heavy seas blocked it from docking in the morning.

The ship returned to the North Sea to wait for the wind to die down rather than risk being smashed against the harbour's walls, Teun-Wim Leene of DFDS Seaways told national broadcaster NOS.

Trains were cancelled in southern Sweden and Denmark. Winds blew off roofs, with debris reportedly breaking the legs of one man.

Near Copenhagen, the storm ripped down the scaffolding from a five-storey apartment building.

Copenhagen's Kastrup Airport saw delays as strong gusts prevented passengers from using boarding bridges to disembark from planes to the terminals.

In Germany, the death toll hit six, with four people killed in three separate accidents yesterday involving trees falling on cars, the dpa news agency reported.

A sailor near Cologne was killed on Sunday when his boat capsized and a fisherman drowned north-east of the city.

In addition to widespread rail disruptions, both Dusseldorf and Hamburg airports saw many flights cancelled, stranding more than 1,000 passengers.

Thousands of homes in north-western France also lost electricity, while in the Netherlands several rail lines shut down and airports faced delays. Amsterdam's central railway station was closed due to storm damage.

In France, maritime officials were searching for a woman who was swept into the turbulent Atlantic by a big wave yesterday as she walked on Belle Isle, a small island off the coast of Brittany.

"We are focused on the search," Yann Bouvart, of the Atlantic Maritime Prefecture told BFM-TV. He said a helicopter, a boat and an inflatable Zodiac were looking for the woman.

Amsterdam was one of the hardest-hit cities as the storm surged up the Dutch coast. Powerful wind gusts toppled trees into canals in the capital's historic centre and sent branches tumbling onto rail and tram lines, halting almost all public transport. Commuters faced long struggles to get home.

Ferries in the Baltic Sea, including between Denmark and Sweden, were cancelled after the Swedish Meteorological Institute upgraded its storm warning to the highest possible level, class 3, which indicates "very extreme weather that could pose great danger".

Trains were cancelled in southern Sweden, and many bridges were closed between the islands in Denmark.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News