Deadly Storm Eleanor batters Europe

Tens of thousands without power…

Article By: BBC News

Three people have died as winter storm Eleanor swept across most of northern Europe, causing widescale disruption. A skier died in the French Alps and 15 others were injured elsewhere in the country, four of them seriously. Two people were killed when they were swept away by a huge wave on Spain’s northern Basque coast.

The storm, which hit most of northern Europe after battering the UK, has also cut power to tens of thousands of homes and affected transport. Winds reached up to 100mph (160km/h) in the UK and 147km/h (90mph) in France.

Storm Eleanor is the UK’s fifth named storm of the season. In northern France, the storm cut power to more than 200,000 households and Eleanor is set to move to other regions throughout the day, including Corsica.

Air travel was also disrupted in the capital, Paris, and in the east of the country. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed because of the strong winds. The city’s parks have also been closed until the storm dies down because of worries over falling tree branches.

A skier was killed by a falling tree in Morillon, in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France.

Derailed train near Lenk, in Switzerland, on 3 January 2018Image copyrightEPA: Image captionA train overturned near Lenk in central Switzerland, lightly injuring several people
Overturned lorry on A1 between Oensingen and Niederbipp in Switzerland, 3 January 2018Image copyrightEPA: Image captionA lorry overturned on a busy road in Switzerland
Debris of a roof lay in a street in Stuttgart, south-western Germany, after the region was hit by Storm Burglind on 3 January 2018Image copyrightAFP: Image captionA roof lies in pieces in a street in Stuttgart, south-western Germany, after the storm

In Germany, the storm – named Burglind there – has swept over much of the country. It packed gusts of more than 120km/h (70mph) in the west of the country and led to transport disruption, reports say.

Switzerland has also been badly hit, with some 14,000 homes without power, and several injured after a train was blown off its tracks. The high winds left several people stranded in a ski lift in St Gallen canton, overturned a light airplane in Stans and snapped the 13m (42ft) high Christmas tree in the capital Bern, Reuters news agency reports.

Meanwhile, record wind gusts of 195km/h (122mph) were recorded on Pilatus Peak near the Swiss city of Lucerne, broadcaster SRF reported.

People watch waves crashing against the seafront in Auderville, Normandy, as storm Eleanor hits the northern part of France on 3 January 2018Image copyrightAFP: Image captionWaves pound the seafront in Auderville, Normandy

Belgium was put on “orange” alert, the third of four warning levels, with officials urging people to be cautious when going out because of tree branches and other flying objects. In the Netherlands, gusts of more than 110km/h (68mph) were recorded as hundreds of flights were cancelled at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

One person was hit by a falling tree, and several main roads and train lines were also closed.

Dutch authorities have, for the first time, shut all five major sea barriers to prevent flooding, as large areas of the country are below sea level.

A car drives along a flooded road in New Brighton, on the coast of the Wirral peninsula, in Merseyside, Britain, January 3, 2018.Image copyrightREUTERS: Image captionA car drives along a flooded road in Merseyside, UK

In the UK thousands of homes are without power and travel has been disrupted after Storm Eleanor hit there.

The Met Office recorded gusts reaching 100mph (160km/h) overnight on Wednesday with a weather yellow warning still in place for Wales, England, most of Northern Ireland and parts of southern Scotland.

In the Republic of Ireland, 97mph gusts were recorded, and there was flooding, travel disruption and damage to buildings.

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