Tuesday

31st Mar 2020

Storm batters northern Europe, leaves over a dozen dead

A powerful storm that swept across the United Kingdom and into northern Europe left over a dozen dead, thousands without power, and many stranded at airports.

Named St Jude, the storm landed in the UK over the weekend before making its way to the continent on Monday (28 October).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Amsterdam: a tree knocked over by the storm (Photo: FeWipS)

Strong winds, with 160km gusts reported in some areas, knocked down trees and powerlines, blew off rooftops, paralysed train networks, and forced flight cancellations in the UK and the Netherlands.

The fatalities, with seven alone in Germany, were caused mostly by falling trees. Five are reported dead in the UK, with one each in Denmark and the Netherlands.

A 14-year old boy was swept out to sea in southeast England late Sunday evening.

In France, a woman was reported dead after being swept out to sea while out for a walk on an island off France’s northwestern Brittany coast.

The Danish capital saw record gusts of up to 120mph.

Worst hit was the southern part of the country and the Copenhagen area, reports Reuters.

More than 100 Danes are reported hospitalised with one killed after a 21-year old man went out to make photos in the storm and was struck by a collapsing wall.

Bridges linking Denmark and Sweden were shut.

London’s Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest international hubs, cancelled 130 flights.

Schiphol airport in Amsterdam cancelled 50 flights. Incoming and outgoing vessels in Rotterdam Port were delayed.

Eurostar, which runs high-speed trains between the UK and mainland Europe, saw some delays but resumed normal operations.

Around 600,000 homes in the UK are said to have lost power with many reconnected shortly afterwards. The ERDF electricity distribution company says some 75,000 homes in France lost power.

In Sweden, some 60,000 homes lost electricity.

Swedish media, which refer to the storm as ‘Simone’, say many roads in the country remain blocked due to trees but reported no causalities.

“It went pretty well. I think people have listened to the warnings and have not been out on the roads,” a deputy spokesman of police in Kalmar and Kronoberg told Svenska Dagbladet.

The storm had lost most of its force by the time it landed in Finland and Estonia on Monday evening.

“The night was reasonably quiet,” a meteorologist at the Finnish Meteorological Institute told YLE on Tuesday (29 October).

He said high winds caused some power outages in the southern part of Finland.

EU pledges aid to flood victims

The European Commission says it is ready to unleash funds to help the thousands affected by one of the worst floods to hit Europe in a decade.

Warning of agricultural 'digital arms race' in EU

Europe is on the verge of allowing centralisation and concentration of farming data at an unprecedented scale, with the absence of any regulation, NGO Friends of the Earth have warned.

What will Brexit mean for climate action in EU and UK?

The UK is leaving the EU after playing a key role in climate action - just as COP26 comes to Glasgow. With so many policy negotiations ahead, a split between London and Brussels post-Brexit could undermine the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal.

Timmermans: EU climate law will 'discipline' rogue states

The first EU-wide climate law will be a "disciplining" exercise to implement the Green Deal - although the Polish climate minister Michal Kurtyka warned the EU Commission about the social cost of delivering the green transition.

Why is Netherlands so far behind on renewables?

Despite its historic connotation with windmills and dams, the Netherlands is in fact far behind most EU countries in the production of energy from renewable sources - alongside stragglers such as Malta, Luxembourg and Belgium.

News in Brief

  1. 12-year old Belgian girl dies of coronavirus
  2. EU Commission: no 'indefinite' emergency measures
  3. Denmark plans 'gradual' return to normal after Easter
  4. Globally over 780,000 cases of coronavirus, 37,000 deaths
  5. EU states losing 3% of GDP a month, IMF says
  6. Fruit pickers need to cross borders too, EU says
  7. Former Slovak minister to become EU envoy on Kosovo-Serbia
  8. Hungary's Orban wins rule-by-decree vote in parliament

What will Brexit mean for climate action in EU and UK?

The UK is leaving the EU after playing a key role in climate action - just as COP26 comes to Glasgow. With so many policy negotiations ahead, a split between London and Brussels post-Brexit could undermine the 2050 emissions-neutrality goal.

Timmermans: EU climate law will 'discipline' rogue states

The first EU-wide climate law will be a "disciplining" exercise to implement the Green Deal - although the Polish climate minister Michal Kurtyka warned the EU Commission about the social cost of delivering the green transition.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking Europe’s Economy Circular – the time is now
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersScottish parliament seeks closer collaboration with the Nordic Council
  3. UNESDAFrom Linear to Circular – check out UNESDA's new blog
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us