Germany and the UK bore the brunt of a storm that hit Europe on Monday with hurricane-strength winds and claimed the lives of at least 13 people, and caused major power outages and severely disrupted plane and train schedules in the region.
According to a Reuters report, at least seven people were dead in Germany with four deaths in the UK and casualties reported in the Netherlands, Denmark and France. However, an earlier Associated Press report had stated that there were at least five deaths in the UK and four were dead in Germany while two were reported killed off the German coast.
The Reuters report, citing German media, said that falling trees were the main cause of casualties in the country while one man drowned and a woman died after a wall collapsed on her. The same report, citing London police, said the storm may have damaged gas pipes resulting in explosions that damaged some houses in the city.
With winds gusting up to 99 miles per hour (160 kph), Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was forced to cancel a news conference when a crane damaged the Cabinet Office and trading on local markets was thin as traders remained stuck at home, Reuters reported.
At London's Heathrow airport, 130 flights were cancelled while Amsterdam's Schiphol airport cancelled 50, media reports said. And, nearly half a million properties in the UK lost power, Reuters reported, citing UK Power Networks.
Monday’s storm, which also disrupted the operation of the London Underground and nearby Stansted and Gatwick airports, is reported to be one of the worst storms to hit the country since 1987 when a storm killed 18 people and caused more than 2 billion pounds ($3 billion), according to Reuters, in current terms in damage.