Storm force winds lashed the Netherlands late morning and this afternoon as the long-anticipated storm moved across the country from the coast and Wadden Sea. At press time, it was unclear how much damage the winds, which were gusting at up to 110kph in coastal areas, had caused.
A spokeswoman for the KNMI weather bureau said the winds and heavy rain would die down by late afternoon but were set to increase again overnight.
Schiphol airport said travellers faced long delays as the storm had halved take-offs and landings. On average 60 planes take off and land at Schiphol every hour but this had been cut to 30 because of the force eight winds and poor visibility, an airport spokesman told ANP. Lelystad regional airport was closed.
On the IJsselmeer a 20-metre unmanned crane barge broke loose from its moorings and drifted into the Afsluitdijk where it crashed into the dyke wall. Ferry crossings between the mainland and Wadden Islands were also disrupted.
In Gelderland four people were injured when a heavy gust of wind blew their car off the road, causing the driver to lose control. In Friesland bridges were closed because high winds made them dangerous and one man was reported to have been injured by flying glass.
In Amsterdam, Coca-Cola was forced to abandon the launch of its ‘summer event’ because of the gale force winds
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