Huge storms sweep northern Europe -- At least 25 people killed

Posted Jan 18, 2007 by Carolyn E. Price

At least 25 people have been killed as violent storms lashed northern Europe, causing travel chaos across the region.
A huge storm is taking a devasting swipe at northern Europe, killing at least 25 people. Britain has been hit the worst so far with 9 people killed as heavy rain with wind gusting up to 99 mph swept through the country. In London a two-year-old boy died when a wall collapsed on him.
Hurricane-force winds battered Germany causing at least seven deaths. The other deaths were reported in France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Meteorologists at London's Met Office said the winds reached "severe gale force" as they crossed Britain and were the highest recorded since January 1990. They warned the weather system would intensify as it moved east across the continent - with Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany expected to be worst hit overnight.
People in Germany and the Netherlands have been warned to stay indoors as the worst storm in 5 years lashes the country. Among the casualties so far, an 18-month-old child in Munich was crushed to death by a door blown from its hinges. Most of the other fatalities were from car accidents.
"Our country has not had a storm like this in years. We advise you to follow weather alarms and messages to the letter," the Netherlands' Royal Weather Service said.
Other developments relating to this storm:
* A British container ship is listing in the English Channel almost 50 miles (80km) off Cornwall - all 26 crew of the MSC Napoli abandoned ship
* US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice cuts short her visit to Berlin in order to leave for London before weather worsened
* London's Heathrow Airport, Europe's largest, cancels 130 flights. Other major airports including Frankfurt, Munich, Amsterdam and Vienna report delays and cancellations
* The Eurostar train service between Paris, Brussels and London is briefly suspended
* Ferries are cancelled or delayed in Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Finland
* Residents along the North Sea coast are warned to expect storm swells up to 3.5m (11.5ft) higher than normal
Looks like they are getting hit with a huge storm just as the mid-west was here in North America a few weeks ago (last week?).