Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 25 September 2020

Storm Ciara batters Europe, killing at least seven people

A British Airways flight landing in London on Monday was forced to abort its landing at the last minute

Waves hit a diving board during Storm Ciara, also known as Sabine on continental Europe, on the shore of the Lake Geneva, in Lutry, Switzerland, on Monday, February 10, 2020. Keystone via AP
Waves hit a diving board during Storm Ciara, also known as Sabine on continental Europe, on the shore of the Lake Geneva, in Lutry, Switzerland, on Monday, February 10, 2020. Keystone via AP

Storm Ciara lashed Europe with hurricane-force winds and heavy rain on Monday, killing at least seven people and causing severe travel disruptions as it moved eastwards.

A girl aged 15 and her mother died in Poland after the storm, which is called Sabine in mainland Europe, ripped off the roof of a ski rental equipment building in the mountain resort of Bukowina Tatrzanska.

Three people were injured in the incident.

In Sweden, a man drowned after the boat he and another person were sailing on the southern lake of Fegen capsized.

The victim was washed ashore and later died. The other person is still missing, the Aftonbladet daily reported.

Two men, one in the north of Slovenia and another in southern England, died after their cars were hit by falling trees.

And in Germany, a driver died after crashing his lorry into a trailer parked by workers who were clearing storm debris off a motorway in the southern state of Hesse.

Police in the Czech Republic said the storm was probably to blame for a car accident that killed the man driving and injured a woman passenger.

Investigators think a tree fell on the vehicle, which skidded off the road and and overturned.

The number of Czech households without electricity reached 290,000, power company CEZ said.

Although Ciara left the UK for northern Europe on Monday, its impact could still be felt, with thousands of inbound passengers experiencing bumpy landings in Britain.

A British Airways flight in to London Heathrow on Monday was forced to abort its landing at the last minute after strong winds stopped it touching down properly.

Footage on live-streaming channel Jet TV showed the Boeing 777 clipping the runway before having to take off again because of the powerful wind.

A MEA flight to Heathrow landed safely on Monday, despite struggling initially in the poor weather conditions.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled on the continent after the storm hit Germany with winds of up to 140 kilometres per hour, the country’s federal weather office said on Sunday. This surpassed the 120kph threshold of a Category 1 hurricane.

A police spokesman in the Bavarian region of northern Germany advised citizens against going outside unless they had to.

Schools and nurseries were closed as the storm ripped through the country.

Meanwhile, in France, ferry services between Calais and Dover were suspended and rail operator SNCF cancelled some services in the Normandy region.

About 120 flights were cancelled in Amsterdam and the national football association called off all of its games on Sunday.

That day, tailwinds brought by the storm led to a British Airways flight has set a new record for the fastest subsonic commercial flight from New York City to London, crossing the Atlantic in only four hours and 56 minutes.

The transatlantic flight typically takes more than six hours.

Updated: February 11, 2020 08:42 AM

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