Four killed as storm batters Netherlands and Belgium

Four killed as storm batters Netherlands and Belgium

Water authorities in the low-lying Netherlands also were closely monitoring the storm and closed a storm barrier 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of Amsterdam because of high-water levels.

After the cancellation of all long-distance trains on Thursday due to safety reasons, German national railroad company Deutsche Bahn resumed operations of most local and long-distance trains Friday morning.

National Rail services across suffered weather-related delays, with trains hitting fallen trees, dislodged fence posts and even two sheds which blew on to the tracks between Newtown and Welshpool, the rail service said. Almost 200 flights into and out of the hub were canceled as a result, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, and some roof damage was reported at the airport.

Friederike has been deemed the worst storm to hit the country since 2007, the German weather service announced.

"Such heavy gusts bring with them a danger to people and traffic", it added, warning of the risks of falling trees and urging people not to venture go into the seas, with many Dutch surfers often seen seeking out the highest waves.

Driving conditions in parts of Scotland were extremely hazardous, with officials advising motorists to stay off the roads because of blustery winds, heavy snow and icy conditions.

A driver was killed when a tree collapsed onto her auto south of Brussels early Thursday and some were injured by flying debris in the rest of Belgium as the storm picked up in intensity during the day.

Belgium set of its code orange alert - the second highest storm warning - for the north of the country early Thursday and tram traffic had to be halted in parts of the capital Brussels, where several public parks had to be closed.

The winds are so strong that one man was blown metres across a square near the High Court of the Dutch town of S'Hertogenbosch.

Interior Minister Carmen Dan said that 32,000 people had no power.

By midday on Thursday, at least 25 lorries had been tipped over by wind gusts on highways, Dutch traffic control agency VID reported.

More than 100,000 lost electricity in Germany due to the storm, news agency dpa reported. Photo: Reuters Frustrated passengers packed into stations, desperately hoping to find a way to travel, with trams and buses also badly disrupted. Footage from the airport shows strong winds forcing a plane to abort its landing.

"Since this affects many long-distance connections, there are effects on the entire rail services, also internationally", Deutsche Bahn said. The service had no further details of the collision.

Authorities warned Germans, especially in the west and the north of the country, to not leave their homes on Thursday if possible.

Despite battening down the hatches for the storm's arrival since Wednesday, there were still difficulties on the roads.