Powerful summer storm lashes the Netherlands, causing 1 death and canceled flights

The Hague July 5 (BNA): A powerful summer storm lashed the Netherlands Wednesday, killing at least one person, blowing trees into homes and forcing one of Europe’s busiest airports to cancel or delay hundreds of flights.

The National Institute of Meteorology declared a red alert in three provinces as Storm Polly battered the country with heavy rains and strong winds. One gust, on the west coast of Amsterdam, was recorded by the institute at just over 145 kilometers per hour (90 mph), the institute said.

Dutch media showed images of uprooted trees and windswept debris littering the streets of Amsterdam, The Hague and Haarlem as the storm approached during the usually busy morning rush hour.

A person was killed in Harlem when a tree fell on a car, police spokeswoman Nina Morse said, according to the Associated Press. In Amsterdam, a tree fell on a houseboat moored in one of the city’s historic canals.

Videos showed trees strewn across highways, toppled on a row of houses in Haarlem and uprooted on a tram in The Hague. The Amsterdam municipality closed the parks as the storm battered the Dutch capital.

Emergency services in the province of North Holland, which includes the capital, Amsterdam, sent out an immediate alert to mobile phones urging people to stay indoors as the storm passed. Traffic authorities also advised motorists to avoid driving if possible.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, one of the busiest aviation hubs in Europe, said on its website that it expected air traffic to be very limited in the afternoon, leading to cancellations and delays for incoming and outgoing flights.

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The national railway company has suspended all trains in North Holland.

The storm is expected to blow north through the Netherlands later Wednesday, reaching Denmark and Germany.


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