Large waves in Plobannalec-Lesconil, France, as Storm Ciara was hitting western and northern Europe
© Fred Tanneau/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Large waves in Plobannalec-Lesconil, France, as Storm Ciara was hitting western and northern Europe.
Six people across Europe have died because of hurricane-force winds brought by Storm Ciara after it reached the UK and northern mainland Europe on Sunday.

Casualties have been reported across the UK, Poland, Slovenia, Sweden and the Czech Republic.

The storm has also caused hundreds of flight and train cancellations, as well as left thousands of homes without electricity.


Ireland

Met Éireann, the Irish national meteorological service, issued a yellow wind warning for the entire country.

According to the service's website, Ciara may have brought winds blowing at 65 to 80km/h and gusts up to 130km/h.

A separate Status Orange marine warning was issued with regards to strong gales developing on the Irish Sea as well as on all Irish coastal waters.


The weather warnings have led to the cancellation of the opening ceremony for Galway's 2020 European Capital of Culture status.

United Kingdom

One man died in his car when a tree fell on a motorway southwest of London on Monday.

Some 180 flood warnings remained in place Monday across the UK, which in some places is preparing for icy winds and snowfall, but the bulk of the storm is believed to have passed.

At least 10 rail companies in Britain sent out "do not travel" alerts, and nearly 20 others told passengers to expect delays due to weather conditions. The strong winds damaged electrical wires and littered train tracks with broken tree branches and other debris, including a family trampoline.

The "storm of the century" made the front page of several British dailies. "In terms of the territory affected, it is probably the biggest storm of the century," with the only rival being the storm of December 2013, said Helen Roberts of the British Met office.

"Storm Ciara is moving away but that doesn't mean we're entering a period of calmer weather," warned Alex Burkill of the Met office.

"There could be as much as 20 cm of snow on Tuesday, and with strong winds we can't rule out the risk of a blizzard.

Parts of the UK received the equivalent of a month and a half of rain in 24 hours and hundreds of flights were cancelled.


London's Heathrow Airport and several airlines consolidated flights Sunday to reduce the number cancelled by heavy winds. British Airways offered to rebook customers for domestic and European flights out of Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. Virgin Airlines cancelled some flights.

Traffic was restricted on the Humber Bridge near Hull in northern England due to the powerful winds. High-sided trucks and camper vehicles were banned from circulating on the roads.

High waves in the Irish Sea and the English Channel forced ferry companies to cancel trips, and the key English port of Dover suspended services.

UK Power Networks, the electricity distribution company that covers South East England, the East of England and London, tweeted that Ciara affected power supplies, damaging electricity networks in the southeastern part of the country. The operator also reported that 29,160 properties in the East were without power.

Sports events across the region were cancelled, including a 10k run in London expected to draw 25,000 runners. Ciara also affected Saturday's female rugby match between England and Scotland in the Six Nations.

The high winds forced Queen Elizabeth II not to attend church in Sandringham on Sunday.

Belgium

Storm Ciara battered Belgium on Sunday. The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium issued a national orange wind alert from Sunday to Monday morning.

The institute also issued a yellow rain warning for the region of Wallonia, and a yellow storm surge alert for the Flemish coastal and eastern areas.

The National Railway Company said the bad weather conditions could affect railway traffic, but told travellers they will try to limit disruptions.

The Netherlands

Around 220 flights were cancelled on Monday morning to and from Amsterdam-Schiphol airport, Europe's third-busiest one.

The country faced an orange code for the whole day of Sunday as winds were expected to reach up to 100/120 km/h in the northwest.

On Saturday the Dutch football association called off all of Sunday's matches in the top-flight due to Storm Ciara's approaching.


Germany

Two women were seriously injured by a falling tree in Saarbrücken, and a 16-year-old boy was hit in the head by a branch in Paderborn, western Germany.

On the transport side, train traffic on the main lines, which has been interrupted since Sunday evening throughout the country, resumed partly in the morning according to the Deutsche Bahn railway company. But the disruptions will remain numerous as the storm moves southwards.

In Frankfurt, a construction crane hit the cathedral in the city centre, damaging the roof by several metres, AFP reported.


The German league game between title challenger Borussia Monchengladbach and Cologne was called off Sunday, as storms were expected to batter the region.

France

Ciara also left at least 11 people slightly injured in eastern France on Monday.

About 130,000 households were also left without power in the early morning.

The wind has also begun to weaken in northern France and the orange alert for 15 eastern departments has been lifted - but Ciara is expected to strengthen gradually over the Alps and in Corsica (southeast), where winds are expected to reach nearly 200 km/h at their strongest during the night between Monday and Tuesday.

The French coastline, from Loire-Atlantique to Pas-de-Calais, also remains on "wave-submergence" alert, while two departments, Seine-Maritime and Eure, are on "flooding" orange alert.

AP and AFP