Storm Ciara disrupts travel in Western Europe
AMSTERDAM: Around 120 flights to and from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, one of Europe's largest, were cancelled or delayed yesterday as a powerful storm blew in off the Atlantic Ocean with gusts of more than 100kmh.
The Netherlands Meteorological Institute issued an amber alert for yesterday afternoon as Storm Ciara began to batter the Dutch coast after crossing Britain overnight.
All professional Dutch football matches were cancelled, along with most outdoor sporting events.
Flights were also cancelled in Frankfurt. Germany's largest hub cancelled 100 flights to and from Frankfurt Airport, the airport operator Fraport said.
The number represents around 8 per cent of the roughly 1,200 departures and arrivals planned in Frankfurt for the day, a spokesman said, adding that cancellations would increase in the late afternoon when gale-force winds were expected to arrive in the city.
Britain and Ireland also hunkered down yesterday.
With howling winds and driving rain, forecasters said Ciara would also hit France, Belgium and Switzerland.
"Storm Ciara is expected to bring delays and cancellations to air, ferry and train services; damage to buildings and a good chance of power cuts," Britain's Met Office said.
Britain's Network Rail advised travellers to avoid taking the train yesterday unless "absolutely necessary," warning that transport could be disrupted into this morning.
Several rail firms also decided to reduce the frequency and speed of trains.
In London, organisers cancelled a 10km race in which 25,000 runners were due to take part, while major parks were set to close. A Premier League game between Manchester City and West Ham was also cancelled.
Ireland's Met Eireann meteorological service warned that Storm Ciara will produce very strong south-west winds with mean speeds of 65kmh to 80kmh and gusts up to 130kmh.
It warned of "a significant risk of coastal flooding especially along western and north-western coasts". - REUTERS, AFP