Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

ENCORE!

Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Ed Husain, Author of 'The Islamist'

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan Protests: Democracy put to the test (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Pakistan: Imran Khan, from the cricket field to politics

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

  • Boko Haram Islamists seize northeast Nigerian town

    Read more

  • Is Carla Bruni against a political comeback for Sarkozy?

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao leaves Ligue 1 for Man Utd

    Read more

  • UN backs Iraqi request for inquiry into IS militant crimes

    Read more

  • French education ministry picture sparks racist abuse

    Read more

  • Obama calls for higher wages amid 'revving' US economy

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine’s children return to school as fighting rages on

    Read more

  • Americans detained in North Korea call for US help

    Read more

  • US urges Israel to reverse West Bank land seizure

    Read more

  • Lesotho PM calls for regional peacekeeping force after ‘coup’

    Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

Europe

Fierce storm batters England, northern France

© AFP

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-28

The UK faced travel chaos on Monday morning and 65,000 homes in northwestern France were left without electricity as one of the worst storms to strike the UK's southwest coast in years swept in from the Atlantic Ocean.

The strongest storm to hit Britain in a decade battered the south of England on Monday after causing widespread damage in northern France and the Netherlands, forcing airports to cancel flights, cutting power to thousands of homes and disrupting the travel plans of millions of commuters. At least five deaths have been reported.

Three administrative regions in northern France, including the Somme, Pas-de-Calais and Nord were still on “Orange Alert” Monday, while others were taken off the danger list as the storm moved northwards to the North Sea and Great Britain. At 9:00 GMT (+1), 65,000 French homes were still without electricity.

By early afternoon, British energy suppliers said that some 270,000 homes were without power. Flood alerts were issued for many parts of southern England and emergency officials said hundreds of trees were knocked down by gusts.

Winds of up to 160 km per hour were recorded at the southern Isle of Wight early Monday. Rail services across the southern England were shut down, stranding commuters at the start of the working week. Meanwhile, toppled trees crushed cars, damaged properties and flooding made some roads impassable.

A 17-year-old girl has died after a tree fell onto the static home she was sleeping in at Hever, Kent Police said.

Hertfordshire police said a man in his 50s was killed when a tree fell on a car in Watford.

Police also said one London man died in an apparent gas explosion at his home and a teenage boy drowned Sunday after being swept to sea while playing in the surf at Newhaven.

In the Netherlands, Amsterdam police said a woman was killed when a tree fell on her in the city and advised people to stay indoors.

Flights cancelled

London’s Heathrow airport said 130 flights were cancelled, the majority between 06:00 and 11:00 GMT and told passengers to check with their airlines before travelling.

Gatwick airport warned of flight disruption, adding that the train services to the airport would not run until 09:00 GMT.

Strong winds were forecast to continue hitting Britain’s East, East Midlands, West Midlands, South East and South West and there was a risk that motorbikes and high-sided vehicles could be blown over, the agency added.

“The thing that’s unusual about this one is that most of our storms develop out over the Atlantic so that they’ve done all their strengthening and deepening by the time they reach us,” Met Office spokeswoman Helen Chivers said.

“This one is developing as it crosses the UK, which is why it brings the potential for significant disruption ... and that doesn’t happen very often.”

Met Office spokesman Dan Williams said the last such comparable storm -- taking into consideration the time of year and area affected -- was in October 2002.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-10-28

  • FRANCE - WEATHER

    France to get lengthy spell of 'British weather'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Storms in France leave thousands without power

    Read more

COMMENT(S)