The most severe gales to hit the Netherlands since 1990 killed one woman in Amsterdam on Monday and severely disrupted public transport throughout the country.
The storm, at its height between midday and 14.00 hours, caused considerable damage in the capital, where dozens of trees were blown down, leading the fire brigade to urge people to stay indoors.
One women was killed while out walking on the city’s Herengracht after she was hit by a tree. A man was taken to hospital with serious injuries.
The strongest winds –hurricane-force 151 kph – were recorded on the Wadden Sea island of Vlieland. Even inland there were strong gusts of over 100 kph, weather bureaux said.
Train services to and from Amsterdam were disrupted because of storm damage and the city’s tram services were shut down because of damage to the overhead cables.
Rail services will be disrupted into tomorrow as NS staff work to repair the damage caused by the storm, the company said on Monday afternoon.
The problems are most serious in the north and west of the country and the damage is so severe on 25 different parts of the network that no or very restricted services are possible, the NS said.
For example, there are no trains round Amsterdam or Zwolle or between The Hague and Rotterdam. Other services have also been reduced or stopped because of trees on the tracks, broken overhead cables or other damage.
A DFDS ferry from Newcastle carrying 1,080 people was unable to dock safely in IJmuiden port because of the strong winds and finally managed to moor at 15.30 hours, six hours behind schedule.
Dozens of flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport were cancelled because of the strong winds which led to all but one runway being closed.
Source DutchNews, October 29, 2013