07 August 2023

Stormy weather across northern Europe delays ferry services and flights

07 August 2023

Stormy weather across the Baltic Sea region has resulted in the death of one person, caused airport delays, suspended ferry services and led to a train’s partial derailment in Sweden.

Three people were taken to hospital after two of the train’s passenger carriages went off the tracks in Hudiksvall, a town 174 miles north of the Swedish capital Stockholm, police said.

The derailment happened because “the embankment has been undermined by the heavy rain and landslides”, officers said.

Ferries linking Poland to Sweden, two German islands to mainland Germany and Norway to Denmark remained in harbour.

Ferries and water taxis to the German islands of Hiddensee and Ruegen were cancelled for Monday and Tuesday morning, and holidaymakers have been asked to change their travels plans to Wednesday.

In Lithuania, a 50-year-old woman was killed by falling trees near the Latvian border.

The area was badly damaged with roofs ripped off, and thousands were left without electricity.

Latvian television reported trees getting knocked over in wind gusts of up to 67mph.

Meteorologists in Latvia also reported golf ball-sized hail in Apgulde, a village south-west of Riga, the capital.

The Baltic News Service said the storm caused extensive damage in the nearby Dobele region.

Posts on social media showed one of the affected properties was a park in Tervete, a popular recreational area that includes a children’s play area inspired by Latvian fairy tales.

In Denmark, police in the north-eastern part of the country said on Twitter that “the weather is still harsh”.

The fire department for greater Copenhagen urged people to stay away from parks and forests, saying “the combination of rain-soaked ground and storms increases the risk of trees falling”.

In southern Norway, authorities raised the extreme weather warning alert to its highest due to heavy rain, mudslides and flash floods.

Flooded streets were also reported in Oslo, Norway’s capital.

On Sunday, thousands of lightning strikes were reported in Sweden.

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