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DATE PUBLISHED: 1398/11/21 - 18:42:5
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Storm Ciara latest: Hurricane-force winds batter Northern Europe

Storm Ciara reached the UK and northern mainland Europe on Sunday, sweeping across the continent and causing travel disruptions, damage and power cuts.

Ireland

Met Éireann, the Irish national meteorological service, has issued a yellow wind warning for the entire country. As of now, the Status Yellow alert will remain in place until the early hours of Sunday.

According to the serviceís website, Ciara will bring winds of "mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h and gusts up to 130km/h."

A separate Status Orange marine warning was issued with regards to strong gales developing on the Irish Sea as well as on all Irish coastal waters Saturday and Sunday.

The weather warnings have led to the cancellation of the opening ceremony for Galwayís 2020 European Capital of Culture status.

United Kingdom

The Met Office national weather agency has issued 123 emergency flood warnings and 159 flood watch alerts. Gusts of 138 km/h were already recorded at Capel Curig in Wales.

At least 10 rail companies in Britain sent out "do not travel" alerts, and nearly 20 others told passengers to expect delays due to weather conditions. The strong winds damaged electrical wires and littered train tracks with broken tree branches and other debris, including a family trampoline.

Londonís Heathrow Airport and several airlines consolidated flights Sunday to reduce the number cancelled by heavy winds. British Airways offered to rebook customers for domestic and European flights out of Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. Virgin Airlines cancelled some flights.

Traffice was restricted on the Humber Bridge near Hull in northern England due to the powerful winds. High-sided trucks and camper vehicles were banned from circulating on the roads.

High waves in the Irish Sea and the English Channel forced ferry companies to cancel trips, and the key English port of Dover suspended services.

UK Power Networks, the electricity distribution company that covers South East England, the East of England and London, tweeted that Ciara affected power supplies, damaging electricity networks in the southeastern part of the country. The operator also reported that 29,160 properties in the East were without power.

Sports events across the region were cancelled, including a 10-k run in London expected to draw 25,000 runners. Ciara also affected Saturdayís female rugby match between England and Scotland in the Six Nations.

The high winds forced Queen Elizabeth II not to attend church in Sandringham, breaking her usual Sunday routine.

Belgium

Storm Ciara battered Belgium on Sunday. The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium has issued a national orange wind alert from Sunday to Monday morning.

The institute has also issued a yellow rain warning for the region of Wallonia, and a yellow storm surge alert for the Flemish coastal and eastern areas.

The National Railway Company said the bad weather conditions could affect railway traffic, but told travellers they will try to limit disruptions.
The Netherlands

The country is facing an orange code for the whole day of Sunday.

For the first half of the day, high winds will reach 75/100 km/h, while in the second they will increase up to 100/120 km/h in the northwest.

Experts forecast that the strongest gusts will disappear on Sunday night, but point out that high winds will continue to batter the country.

msterdamís Schiphol Airport warned travellers of delays and cancellations, and it is reported that around 120 flights were cancelled by noon on Sunday.

On Saturday the Dutch football association called off all of Sundayís matches in the top-flight due to Storm Ciaraís approaching.

The Royal Netherlands Football Association said in a statement that, after discussions with clubs, police, and municipalities, it "concluded that because of the expected weather conditions the safety of supporters and players cannot be guaranteed.íí

However, Storm Ciara did not stop the Dutch Headwind Cycling Championships, which saw the participation of an intrepid band of cyclists that made the most of the conditions.

The adventurous group challenged the high winds and raced on bicycles that had no gears, no featherweight carbon race frame, and no drop handlebars.

Riders completed the 8.5-kilometre course along the coast of Zeeland province in the southern Netherlands and across a stormwater barrier, while gusts blasted them with sand from nearby beaches.

Germany

In Germany, storm Ciara is known as "Sabine" and itís supposed to hit the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia on Sunday afternoon.

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued the second-highest Severe Weather warning level (Level 3), despite the fact that around noon the weather was still quite calm.

"It is now slowly becoming stronger", said Michael Hagen from DWD in Offenbach.

Flights to and from airports in Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne Hannover, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Bremen were affected.

On Sunday morning, national railway company Deutsche Bahn announced the cancellation of numerous train connections. Several ferry connections to the North Sea Islands were discontinued as well.

The German league game between title challenger Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne was called off Sunday, as storms were expected to batter the region.

Gladbach said the game, set for Sunday afternoon, was postponed after talks between both clubs, the league, the police and the fire service. No new date has been set.

Borussia Monchengladbach said the game itself was not likely to be affected, but fans could face a dangerous journey home.

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SOURCE: euronews

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/13866


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