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Monday, 28 October, 2002, 11:44 GMT
Europe recovers after gales battering
An uprooted tree lies over one of Amsterdam's canals
A lot of the damage was caused by falling trees
More than 30 people have been killed by storms and high winds that have left a trail of destruction across north-west Europe.

Winds reaching speeds of up to 180 km/h (114 mph) wreaked havoc on roads and railways, uprooting trees, smashing cars and damaging buildings late on Sunday and overnight.

wave
Waves batter northern French port of Auderville
Storms are expected to abate slightly on Monday, although winds of up to 110 km/h kilometres (68 mph) are still expected in parts of eastern Germany as the storm moved out into the Baltic Sea.

The gales caused chaos on the road and rail networks in many countries and a number of airports had to cancel flights.

Ten people have been killed in Germany alone.

"It was an extreme occurrence," said German meteorological office spokeswoman Uwe Kirsche.

The storms were also reported to have caused seven deaths in Britain - most of them because of falling trees - four in the Netherlands and four in France.

Other fatalities were reported in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Poland and Switzerland.

Some of the incidents reported across Europe include:

  • In the German northern city of Hamburg, an 80-year-old woman was knocked over and run over by a car. The western region of North Rhine-Westphalia suffered the worst damage with five people reported dead

  • In France, two car passengers were killed when a tree fell on their car north of Paris. A hunter was struck by a falling tree and a man was killed when the roof of a home under construction caved in

  • At least seven people, including some children, died in Britain after they were hit by falling trees and debris. Gales caused an estimated 50m (79 million euros) damage

  • In the Netherlands, a man walking his dog in the eastern town of Enschede was killed by a falling tree, and a 77-year-old man in Hilversum died when he was blown off his feet into a fence. Another person was swept into the sea at Scheveningen

  • In Belgium, two died when they were blown into the North Sea, and a 13-year-old roller-skater was killed when he was slammed into a skip in the seaside resort of Wenduine. Part of the roof of Antwerp's 10,000-seat Sports Palace was also blown off.

See also:

15 Aug 02 | Europe
19 Aug 02 | Europe
05 Jan 02 | Europe
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