Devastating Storm Sweeps Northern and Central Europe, Killing Seven
Storm Herwart has claimed seven victims since it hit Northern and Central Europe this past weekend. An outage at CEZ power company in Germany also left thousands of homes without electricity, and caused travel chaos across the country.
Four victims in Poland and the Czech Republic were killed by falling trees, including a man who drove his car into a tree that was knocked down by the storm. In Germany, victims included a 63-year-old man who drowned in a storm surge in Lower Saxony, and a couple whose motorboat overturned in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Railways and several roads across the Czech Republic and Germany closed due to flooding and fallen trees. According to a local media report, the winds caused trees to fall in the Czech Republic, with one man dying after being hit on a sidewalk in a town in the north of the country.
The winds also struck Poland, damaging a pipeline at the port of Swinoujscie that holds Poland’s liquefied natural gas. According to a spokesman of the state gas pipeline operator, Gaz-System, there was only a small leak, but no greater damage.
Additionally, train connections in several northern German states shut down, including links to and from Berlin, due to the danger of branches on the tracks. Recently, the German rail company, Deutsche Bahn, opened sleeping cars to travelers left stranded by the weather.
The “Glory of Amsterdam,” a 225-meter freighter also ran aground off the German North Sea isle of Langeoog. Authorities are currently keeping close watch for any signs that its 1,800 ton of heavy fuel oil and 140 tons of marine diesel might leak. Although the ship’s 22 crew members are uninjured on board, the massive waves are hampering rescue efforts to save them.