A quarter of a million homes in France were left without electricity and trains were halted from Normandy to the Paris region after powerful winds swept across swathes of northern France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Local media reported that four people were injured in the Dutch town of Barendrecht, on the southern edge of Rotterdam, as strong winds ripped tiles off roofs and uprooted trees in a residential neighbourhood in the early hours of Thursday.
The storm that started by hitting Brittany’s Atlantic Coast on Wednesday afternoon blew eastwards through the night, felling trees and collapsing roofs in some areas.
France’s national weather service maintained storm warnings in the country’s north-eastern corner that borders Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Wind speeds reached 109mph in the Normandy town of Fecamp, according to the weather service.
Blown-down trees toppled power lines, and the Enedis utility company said 250,000 homes were left without electricity.
Train travel was disrupted in Normandy and the Champagne-Ardenne region, as well as on some commuter routes in the Paris region, according to the SNCF national rail authority.
The Dutch rail network also was disrupted by trees that had blown onto railway tracks.
Firefighters in the Belgian town of Westerhoek, close to the Dutch border, tweeted that they had been called out dozens of times during the night to deal with storm damage.
Germany’s national weather service warned of gusts ranging up to 65mph in the north and north-east of the country on Thursday.
In Delmenhorst, in north-western Germany, a man was hit by a falling branch on Wednesday evening but only slightly injured.
During the night, a freight train collided with a fallen branch in Bad Godesberg, a suburb of Bonn.
Berlin’s two zoos closed as a precaution for the day because of the forecast for high winds, and the animals were brought into indoor enclosures.
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