Amsterdam airport cancels all flights due to severe storms

Rail service in Netherlands also halted as powerful storm lashes Europe

Chris Baynes
Brussels
,Jon Stone
Thursday 18 January 2018 11:44
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Fences blown over by heavy winds at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has suspended all flights and the Dutch national rail service halted all trains as a powerful storm lashes the Netherlands, toppling trees and causing traffic chaos.

The airport said all take-offs and landings were halted “until further notice” because of the severe weather conditions.

Flag carrier KLM already had scrapped more than 200 flights before the storm.

National broadcaster NOS reported that the main railway station in The Hague was closed because of fears that parts of its new glass roof would be blown off by the storm.

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued a Code Red, the most severe weather warning, for large parts of the country on Thursday and said wind gusts reached 87mph (140kph) in the southern port of Hook of Holland.

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Trains were also taking a battering, with many delays and cancellations. There was disruption between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn after a train struck a trampoline on the tracks, the national rail service said. There were no reports of injuries.

Most of Belgium, including the capital Brussels, was on orange alert – the second highest – because of severe winds on Thursday.

The port of Ghent was closed because of high winds and trees were uprooted in several cities.

Trams were disrupted in Brussels and several public parks closed due to fears of falling trees.

The situation was more severe in the east and north of the country, including around the city of Liège, where a red alert for high winds was issued.

The country’s main airports, including Brussels Zaventem, have been largely unaffected

Gale-force winds of up to 70mph (110kph) have also caused transport chaos across the UK, damaging overhead railway power lines and leaving tracks blocked by fallen trees and debris.

Severe delays affected thousands of of commuters at some of the country’s busiest rail stations, including King’s Cross station and Waterloo in London.

Thousands of of homes in south-east England have been left without electricity.

Driving conditions in parts of Scotland are extremely hazardous, with officials advising motorists to stay off the roads because of blustery winds, heavy snow and icy conditions.

The Met Office said strong winds had begun to ease on Thursday morning. Spokesman Charlie Powell said: “In the last couple of hours the wind speeds have already started to come down significantly.”

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