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Flight delays as Europe rocked by heavy storms

05 January 2018 09:22

Flights have been delayed across parts of Western Europe

Flights have been delayed across parts of Western Europe

A violent storm involving winds of up to 100mph has battered parts of Western Europe, derailing trains, toppling trees and halting flights.

The high winds played havoc with transport, derailing trains in Switzerland and Germany and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France and Switzerland without power.

The storm has forced the cancellation of flights at Zurich and Basel airports.

Holidaymakers are advised to secure comprehensive travel insurance before heading abroad, which may cover the added expense of delayed travel.

No power

Thousands of households at Lake Zurich were left without power, and firefighters were called to help with toppled trees blocking streets, as well as flooding due to heavy rain.

The storm led to winds surpassing 90mph in northern France, some of the worst gusts to hit the country in years. Many people posted photos of destroyed cars, collapsed scaffolding and uprooted trees on social media.

France's national electricity provider said the storm left some 200,000 households without electricity, including 30,000 in the Paris region.

Major airports suffer

Strong winds also caused delays at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, amid extra precautions to help travellers board aircraft safely.

In Germany, highways near Duisburg and Juelich in the west were partially blocked because of fallen trees and flooding.

Zoos in Munich and Augsburg in Bavaria closed for the day, while the railway going up Germany's tallest mountain, the Zugspitze, was shut down because of the storm.

In neighbouring Austria, a ski jumping practice in Innsbruck was cancelled due to the strong winds and snow. (comprehensive travel insurance)