Storm cancels trains, planes across Germany

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Photo credit: Getty

Three people have died in the Netherlands and one man was killed in Germany as powerful winds toppled trees, blew trucks off the road and forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport briefly suspended all air traffic on Thursday as gusts of up to 140km/h were recorded along the coast.

At least 260 flights were scrapped and falling roof tiles led to the closure of airport terminals. Nationwide train services and many tram and bus services were halted after the highest weather alert was issued.

Police said three people were killed by falling trees or debris in separate incidents.

In Rotterdam, shipping containers were toppled and entire roofs ripped off homes.

Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.

In Germany, a 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree in Emmerich near the Dutch border, a spokesman for the town said.

Some 100,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and in the northern state of Lower Saxony were left without power, a spokesman for the energy company Westnetz said.

He said the company hoped to restore power within hours, provided the storm did not cause further damage.

The German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it had suspended all long-distance rail services due to the storm. "Rail traffic is currently halted Germany-wide," it tweeted.

Some bridges and some stretches of road were closed in NRW.

In Munich, eight domestic flights by Lufthansa were cancelled, the airport operator said.

Reuters