Thursday 08 December 2022

Three people are killed as winter storm batters the Netherlands

In Rotterdam, falling trees damaged both cars and trams. Photo: Peter Hilz / HH

Two people have been killed by falling trees in the Netherlands as winds of up to 120 kph battered the country on Thursday morning.

In Enschede, a 62-year-old person was killed when the car he was driving was hit by a tree brought down in the gale force winds. And in Zwolle, a 62-year-old man died when he was hit on the head by a branch, news agency ANP said.

In Lingewaal, south of Utrecht, a 64-year-old man was killed and another injured when they fell through what police said was a ‘plexiglass construction’ on a private industrial estate.

In Limburg, a woman pushing a buggy had a narrow escape while out for a morning walk.

Dozens of people have also been injured by falling trees and flying debris. The centre of Almere was closed off to passersby because of the danger posed by flying glass. One eyewitness told that he had seen several ambulances coming to take away injured people.

Missing panes of glass on Almere station

Schiphol airport was closed for a time because of the strong cross winds but services began to pick up speed again in the early afternoon. All rail services remained suspended at 13.30 but some trains were running in Groningen and Limburg.

Several NS stations have been damaged by the winds, and the train operator said storm had caused major problems to some overhead cables. Trees and other debris have also made it impossible to run normal services.

The emergency services have reported dealing with more than 1,600 damage reports between 8.30am and 12.30pm, when the winds began to die down.

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