As a 2nd major storm strikes north Europe, at least 6 more people are killed
LONDON (AP), -- On Friday, the second major storm of the week swept through northern Europe, killing at least six people. High winds blew down trees and cancelled train services, ripping sections off London's O2 Arena roof.
According to the U.K.'s weather service, a gust of 122 mph (196 km/h) was measured on the Isle of Wight. This was after Storm Eunice moved through the country's southern regions. Storm Zeynep, a German weather system, is pushing into Europe. This has caused high wind warnings across Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
The storm caused havoc with travel in Britain. It shut down Dover in the English Channel, closed bridges between England and Wales, and stopped most trains from London.
Police said that a tree fell on her car in London, killing a woman in her 30s. Firefighters said that three people were also killed in the area by fallen trees. One man was killed in Ireland's County Wexford when he tried to respond to a fallen tree. Although he was pulled from the canal in Ypres quickly by police, his life was not saved.
Eunice is the second named storm that hit Europe this week. The first storm killed at least five people in Germany, and the second storm was named in Poland. Peter Inness, a meteorologist from the University of Reading, England, said that the storms were caused by an unusually strong jetstream over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. High altitude winds produced winds of close to 200 mph (321 km/h).
Inness stated that a strong jet stream such as this could act as a production line for storms and generate a new storm every other day. Inness said that there have been numerous occasions when multiple damaging storms passed through the U.K. and other European countries in a matter of days.
British authorities took unusual steps to issue "red" weather warnings for areas of southern England and Wales, indicating that there was a risk to life. These warnings lasted until the early hours of the morning. From 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., a lower-level amber warning is in effect for gusts of up to 80 mph across England.
Eunice caused disruptions to travel in southern England and Wales even before Britain was struck by the full force and fury of the storm. Many train services were disrupted and many flights and ferry services were cancelled. Many tourist attractions in England were closed before the storm hit, including Legoland, London Eye and Warwick Castle. Also, many flights were cancelled. In Wells, southwest England, the wind blew away the spire of an 18th-century church. High winds tore sections of roofing off the 02 Arena in London. This landmark was located on the south bank the River Thames and was previously known as the Millennium Dome. The fire department evacuated 1000 people.
Before the storm, Mayor Sadiq Khan stated that Londoners should stay home and not take chances.
The Environment Agency issued 10 severe flooding warnings as another sign of dangerous weather conditions.
The storm was forecast to strike northern Germany on Friday night and then sweep eastward overnight. On Friday, a flood warning was issued to Germany's North Sea coast. Meteorologists warned that Friday's storm could do more damage to the North Sea coast of Germany than the earlier weather system. This caused accidents that resulted in at least three deaths, damaged roofs, and destroyed railroad tracks.
Deutsche Bahn, Germany's largest rail operator, cancelled all train services to the north on Friday because of the storm.
Authorities in the Netherlands sent out a push notification to mobile phone users Friday afternoon, advising them to stay indoors.
The Dutch weather institute had earlier issued code red for coastal areas and code orange to most of the low-lying nations. According to the country's rail company, all trains will be stopped nationwide at 2 p.m. (1300 GMT). KLM Airlines cancelled numerous flights from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.
High winds ripped off part of ADO The Hague's roof in The Hague. There were no immediate reports that there had been any injuries.
Authorities built walls of sand at Scheveningen beach, The Hague to protect the beachfront bars from the storm while dozens of surfers braved severe weather to find storm-driven waves.
Strong winds forced authorities in Denmark to ban light vehicles crossing the Storebaelt tunnel, which connects the central island Funen with Zealand. This bridge links Denmark's capital, Copenhagen, to Denmark.
Storm Eunice caused concern due to the possibility of producing a "sting jet", a small area with intense winds that could exceed 100 mph.
According to the Met Office, one example of such a phenomenon was the Great Storm of 1987 that killed 18 people and felled 15 million trees in the U.K.
Chief executive of Royal Meteorological Society Liz Bentley described the phenomenon as akin to a scorpion flying in the sky.
She said, "It's commonly referred to as an sting-jet because its like it's in the tail as storms move through." "And that's often the part where strong winds are -- right at the tip of that cloud curl."
British train operators urged passengers not to travel on Friday as many services were shut down. There were cancellations and delays at several airports in Southern England, including London Heathrow where hundreds of flights were cancelled.
Friederike Otto is a climate scientist at Imperial College and an expert on extreme weather events. She said that there is no evidence that climate change is causing more severe storms in Europe.
She said that the severity of such storms has increased due to intense rainfall as a result human-caused climate changes.
Otto, who is part World Weather Attribution which studies the relationship between extreme weather and global climate change, said that "the second thing is sea levels have risen." This means that storm flooding, which can also happen during such storms (are) more severe than they would have been without climate change.