Deadly cyclone wreaks havoc in Germany, Netherlands
The financial impact of windstorm Friederike is likely to reach into the hundreds of millions of euros, according to Aon’s Jan. 19 Weekly Cat Report.
A powerful storm packing hurricane-force winds has left at least nine people dead across Europe and shut down transportation systems in parts of Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
Friederike was one of the strongest storms to ever impact the Netherlands with wind gusts widely exceeding 100 km/h (62 mph) across the central Netherlands, according to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).
Three fatalities were reported in Olst, Enschede and Vuren. Numerous flight cancelations and delays were reported from the country’s main airport at Schiphol. Notable damage was also incurred on railway overhead lines and the transport was practically paralyzed in much of the country. Road traffic was disrupted at numerous locations as dozens of trucks were overturned in strong winds. Initial reports from the country cited damage to property and motor that will likely end up well into the millions of euros, according to Aon.
Several people were seriously injured in neighbouring Belgium after being hit by falling branches or debris from buildings and one fatality was reported near Brussels. Local media reported numerous instances of structural damage, including roofs that were completely blown off buildings. This included both residential and commercial property. Damage was mostly confined to the northern regions.
In Germany, five storm-related fatalities were reported while dozens of people were injured across the country, some of them severely.
Initial reports indicated hundreds of roofs being destroyed or damaged. Fire brigade and emergency services responded to tens of thousands of storm related incidents; this number reached 7,000 in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen alone.
Further damage is expected to the forestry sector, even though the trees are less prone to uprooting due to seasonal defoliation. Initial reports indicated notable forestry damage in the mountain range of Harz.
Widespread power outages occurred due to damage to the electricity grid and were estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. In Nordrhein-Westfalen alone the number of outages reached 130,000.
A nationwide closure of long-distance railway transport was called by Deutsche Bahn in the evening, due to numerous fallen trees and damage on the lines. Stormy weather also led to numerous flight cancellations at major airports, including Düsseldorf, Cologne and Munich. Travel was also disrupted on several major highways and many more regional roads.
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