Fierce storm hits Germany

Germany cancels hundreds of flights due to a winter storm that brought chaos and caused power outages.

Fierce storm hits Germany
dpa

Berlin (dpa) - Hundreds of flights were cancelled in Germany due to a fierce winter storm that brought havoc to northern Europe, where tens of thousands of homes were in the dark after the hurricane-force winds and heavy rains knocked out power.

Munich was particularly hard hit, with an airport spokesman in the southern German city reporting that 420 flights were cancelled.

German flagship carrier Lufthansa, which operates a significant chunk of services to and from Munich, had grounded all continental flights until 1 pm (1200 GMT) and all intercontinental flights until 2 pm on Monday.

Operations have since returned to normal at Frankfurt Airport, a spokesman said.

However, 190 departing flights and landings had been cancelled the previous day at the airport, Germany's largest, after a number of airlines scrapped certain services as a precaution as the storm approached.

Around 150 flights were cancelled in Dusseldorf and Cologne, while dozens were cancelled at airports in Stuttgart and Hamburg.

Deutsche Bahn, the country's rail company, said on Sunday evening it planned to suspend train services nationwide because of the storm, which started pounding the country on Sunday. Long-distance services are not to resume before 10 am on Monday.

The storm, known as storm Sabine in Germany and Ciara elsewhere, also brought chaos to Britain, Ireland and France.

Electricity networks firm Enedis said the storm's passage had left 130,000 homes without power in France as of Monday morning.

Regional trains were cancelled across northern France, and state weather service Meteo France kept 32 departments on orange alert for high winds.

Some 10,000 households in Britain and Ireland were left without power, while the Met Office warned of flooding in Scotland and England.