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Storm wrecks havoc in southern Britain, leaving four dead

English.news.cn   2013-10-29 04:49:59            
 • Death toll has risen to four as storm swept the southern parts of Britain on Monday.
 • Trees fell in the high wind, cutting power supplies to 600,000 homes at the height of the storm.
 • Heathrow airport confirmed 130 flights were cancelled. Railway companies significantly reduced services


LONDON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Death toll has risen to four as storm swept the southern parts of Britain on Monday, cutting power supplies and disrupting traffic.

A tree fall in gale caused gas explosion in west London, ripping through three houses. A man and a woman died in blast, while three others were taken to hospital.

The other two victims were both killed by trees falling in the storm, according to local reports.

One of the victims was a 17-year-old girl Bethany Freeman, who was sleeping in Hever, Kent at 7:20 a.m.. A tree collapsed and crushed her caravan. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Donal Drohan, 51, was killed in his car, which was battered by a toppled tree in Watford, Herts at 6:50 a.m.

Trees fell in the high wind, cutting power supplies to 600,000 homes at the height of the storm, 166,000 of which are still cut off as of 5 p.m.. Many roads were forced to close.

The numbers are subject to changes as effect of the storm still lasts.

The storm was believed to be the worst in a decade to hit England and Wales.

The Met Office said the gale at the Needles, Isle of Wight, reached the speed of 159 km per hour at 5 a.m. Monday morning. However, Martin Young, Chief Forecaster, said in a press release on the Met Office's website, "While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990."

Sources with the Heathrow airport confirmed that some 130 flights were cancelled, and suggested passengers check before making their journeys.

Railway companies significantly reduced train services on Monday. Although some cancellations and suspensions were announced on Sunday, the companies were blamed for the inconvenience they brought to passengers, said a local report.

Easyjet, a local airline company, warned passengers to plan in advance as no train would be running between city center of London and major airports including Luton, Gatwick, Southend and Standstead before 9 a.m.

TfL (Transport for London) reported severe delays of several lines, as well as suspension of the overground services on its website. The changes brought troubles to commuters. A picture on BBC website showed a long queue outside an underground station in London.

The storm also affected the British government.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said on his twitter that a press conference was cancelled after a crane collapsed on top of the Cabinet Office.

"Today's press conference moved to a day when there isn't a crane on the roof and journalists travelling on the train are able to join us," he tweeted.


Storm St Jude leaves trail of death, damage

LONDON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- The St Jude storm in Britain has left a trail of death and damage in its wake on Monday.

A man and a woman were killed in a gas explosion in the west London area of Hounslow after a tree fell and severed a gas main. The explosion destroyed three properties. A Metropolitan Police Spokesman told Xinhua that three more people were injured taken to hospital by London Ambulance Service.   Full story

Death toll in hurricane reaches six in Germany

BERLIN, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Death toll in the hurricane that battered northern Germany has reached six as heavy rain and high winds continue, causing widespread rail and air traffic disruption.

On Monday, four people were killed in Germany in separate accidents that involved falling trees, local media reported. A sailor died in a lake near Cologne on Sunday and a fisherman drowned near the city when his boat capsized in heavy waves.   Full story




Editor: Mengjie
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