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Heavy winds hit Denmark and the Netherlands

A major storm has hit northern Europe, leaving at least four people dead or missing, causing transport chaos and threatening the biggest tidal surge in decades.

Dozens of flights were cancelled or delayed in the Netherlands, Germany and Scotland, while rail services were shut down in several countries.

One of Europe’s longest bridges – connecting Sweden to Denmark – closed.

Tens of thousands of homes were also left without power as the storm hit.

Winds of up to 228 km/h (142 mph) battered Scotland, where a lorry driver was killed when his vehicle was blown over near Edinburgh. At least two other people were injured by falling trees.

Police have confirmed reports that a man has been killed by a falling tree in Nottinghamshire, central England.

Pedestrian struggles against the wind in Rotterdam The storm has affected people across northern Europe, including Rotterdam where those venturing outside received a buffeting.
Emergency workers attend the scene of a fatal truck accident as a lorry sits on top of two cars near Bathgate, ScotlandIn Scotland, a lorry driver was killed when his vehicle blew over.
Firefighters fortify an embankment in Cuxhaven-Sahlenburg, northern GermanyPreparations for a tidal surge are going on across several countries. Here, firefighters fortify an embankment in Cuxhaven-Sahlenburg, northern Germany.

Two sailors were reportedly swept overboard from a ship 22 km (14 miles) off the southern Swedish coast, and air-sea rescue services failed to find them.

A storm surge is due later on Thursday, coinciding with high tides in many areas.

Britain’s Environment Agency said tidal surges could bring significant coastal flooding, and the Thames Barrier was being closed to protect London.

British authorities said they had evacuated homes in Great Yarmouth, eastern England, adding that it could be the biggest storm surge for 60 years.

In the low-lying Netherlands, the Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier has been closed off for the first time in six years. Dutch authorities said they had issued the highest possible flood warning for four areas in the north and north-west of the country.

The BBC’s Anna Holligan reports on heavy winds in the Netherlands

Germany reinforced emergency services in and around the northern port of Hamburg and cancelled lessons at several schools.

Flights cancelled

The storm was causing transport chaos throughout northern Europe.

Dutch airline KLM cancelled 84 flights from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, while about 20 were cancelled at Hamburg airport.

Weather presenter Matt Taylor explains how a storm surge happens

Flights from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports in Scotland were also cancelled.

Rail travel was badly affected, with all train services in Scotland cancelled because of debris on the lines and damage to equipment, and services in northern England were also hit.

The Oeresund road and rail bridge between Sweden and Denmark – which links the Danish capital Copenhagen with the Swedish city of Malmo and features in the hit television series The Bridge – was due to close from 1500 GMT.

Railway lines in Sweden and Denmark were closed, while Germany’s national railway, Deutsche Bahn, warned of likely disruption across a swathe of northern Germany.

Ferries to Germany from Sweden and Denmark were cancelled.

BBC NEWS EUROPE.

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