World, Europe, Environment

Storm Ciara pummels central Europe, flights disrupted

French coast, neighboring countries brace for impact, fierce storm expected to move to south on Monday

Cindi Cook   | 09.02.2020
Storm Ciara pummels central Europe, flights disrupted Qatar Airways plane is seen at Brussels Airport as storm 'Ciara' and its strong winds effect the activity at the airport, in Brussels, Belgium on February 9, 2020.( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )


The powerful Storm Ciara has pounded central European counties on Sunday afternoon, with dangerous winds and high waves.

The storm, also known as Sabine in Germany, is making landfall in the British Isles, Benelux, and the northern coast of France, affecting air and sea travel.

Some sports and cultural events throughout the region were already cancelled.

A total of 33 departments in northern and northwestern France were put on orange alert, from Brittany to the Vosges mountain range in eastern France.

The storm is marked by extremely powerful winds, up to 140 kph (87 mph), according to Meteo-France, and from 90 to 100 kph (56 to 62 mph) anywhere inland.

Orange alert warns residents to "be vigilant", with dangerous phenomena predicted.

The U.K., France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, and Norway are all on the path of the storm.

A total of 22 emergency flood warnings were issued along U.K. coastal areas. Dover-Calais connections were halted.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled by major carriers, such as British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Lufthansa, as well as in and out of numerous international airports, including Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Cologne-Bonn, even as far south as Munich.

Deutsche Bahn in Germany suspended train services to the several northern regions.

Meteo-France advised that storm gusts would not be intermittent but sometimes blow for hours at a time, and even at high altitudes, thus Alpine areas should take caution as well.

The ski jumping World Cup in Willingen, Germany was cancelled on Saturday, as well.

Storm Ciara's impact is expected to be felt through Monday morning, and is predicted to move to south as the week starts, impacting southern Germany and Switzerland as it travels.

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