Westerly storm batters the Netherlands with strong winds, disrupting rail and airline traffic

Emergency service workers free a car which drove into a tree. Photo: PolitieStichtseVecht via Twitter

A westerly storm battered the Netherlands on Wednesday morning with wind speeds of up to 110kph in coastal areas.

The KNMI weather bureau had issued a nationwide code yellow alert but raised this to orange for Noord-Holland, Friesland, Flevoland and the Wadden islands for late morning.

Trees were blown down and trains between Amsterdam and Breukelen were disrupted for a time after a tree hit the overhead cables. And in Heesch, in Brabant, a man out walking was taken to hospital after being hit by a tree, RTL Nieuws said.

High speed trains between Rotterdam and Breda were cancelled because of the weather and Intercity services between Rotterdam and The Hague were also reduced, Dutch rail operator NS said.

Airline passengers are also experiencing disruption. Over 100 flights too and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were cancelled because of the storm.

Lorries with trailers have been banned from crossing the Oosterscheldekering sluices and the Zeelandbrug bridge because of the wind. Other dykes in Flevoland have also been closed to high-sided vehicles, website Nu.nl said.

The storm is expected to continue into the late afternoon, bringing thunder, heavy rain and hail later in the day.

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