Heavy storms wreak havoc, leave at least 5 people dead throughout Europe

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 29.10.2017 13:40
Updated 29.10.2017 17:21
Flood waters surround a car parked at Hamburg's Fish Market district on October 29, 2017 as a storm hit many parts of Germany. (AFP Photo)
Flood waters surround a car parked at Hamburg's Fish Market district on October 29, 2017 as a storm hit many parts of Germany. (AFP Photo)

At least five people died in a windstorm that hit central Europe on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and traffic disruptions, rescuers said.

In the Czech Republic, falling trees killed a woman near the central city of Trebic and an elderly man in Jicin northeast of Prague.

A driver died in his car in Poland after crashing into a branch that had fallen on the road near the northwestern city of Szczecin, firefighters said.

The strong winds halted traffic on dozens of railways and several roads across the Czech Republic. Some rivers in the north of the country reached the highest flood-alert levels.

"At present, hundreds of thousands of households are left without power," Sona Holingerova Hendrychova, spokeswoman for the state-run power producer CEZ, said in a statement.

About 200,000 people were also grappling with power outages in western Poland.

In Austria, the organizers canceled the men's World Cup season-opening giant slalom at Solden scheduled for Sunday.

Strong winds also caused damage in Slovakia, causing officials to warn families against visiting graves in the lead-up to All Saints' Day out of safety concerns. Cemeteries in Bratislava were closed.


A forestry worker deals with fallen trees or a road which had to be closed near Torfhaus, western Germany on October 29, 2017 as a storm hit many parts of Germany (AFP Photo)

In the German capital, one person was seriously injured when scaffolding from a construction site fell on him, a fire brigade spokesman said, adding that the roof of a residential building had been torn off and trees uprooted as a result of strong winds.

The fire brigade, which had declared a state of emergency, said that it had received 100 emergency phone calls between 4 am (0300 GMT) and 7 am and that all volunteer fire fighters were called for duty.

Meanwhile, in Hamburg, the Elbe River burst its banks. Rescue workers were blocking off nearby roads and attempting to secure a subterranean parking lot which may flood, a fire brigade spokesman said. The northern German city's harbour had also flooded, and its famous fish market was closed off as a result of the storm.

He added that fire fighters had been called out about 500 times to deal with emergency situations due to the storm.

A spokeswoman for the Deutsche Bahn rail company said that all trains have been cancelled in seven of Germany's 16 states.

Earlier this month, a storm named "Xavier" swept across northern Germany, killing seven people.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter