Rare “life threatening” warnings in London as powerful storms

Hurricane Eunice lashed Britain with terrifying winds and crashing waves, killing millions.

London: Hurricane Eunice ravaged southern Britain with gusty winds and crashing waves on Friday, leaving London’s streets virtually deserted and triggering Europe-wide warnings.

The UK capital was placed under its first “red” weather warning, meaning “life threatening”, and there was a similar level of warning in southern England and South Wales, where schools were closed and public transport was paralyzed.

Eunice knocked out power to 55,000 homes and businesses in Ireland and hundreds of homes in Cornwall, south-west England, which was hit by gusts of 90 miles (145 kph) and waves breaking sea walls along the coast. had arrived.

This drew power into a “sting jet”, a rarely seen meteorological phenomenon that devastated Britain in the 1987 “Great Storm”, and also triggered a red alert in the Netherlands.

Heavy waves hit the Brittany coast in northwestern France. Long-distance and regional trains were gradually being stopped in northern Germany, while warnings were issued in Belgium as well.

Ferries across the Channel, the world’s busiest shipping lane, were canceled as were flights from aviation hubs in northern Europe, including about 300 flights from Schiphol in Amsterdam.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has put the British military on standby, tweeted: “We must all follow advice and take precautions to stay safe.”

The Met Office, Britain’s Meteorological Service, issued its first red weather warning for London – active until 1500 GMT – since the warning system was introduced in 2011.

“The entire country will be affected by extremely strong and destructive winds, causing significant disruption,” said meteorological forecaster Anne Shuttleworth.

The agency warned that roofs could be blown down, trees could be uprooted and power lines could be brought down.

Roads, bridges and railway lines have already been affected, causing delays and cancellations of bus, train and ferry services in southern Britain. Heavy snowfall is also forecast in Scotland and northern England.

climate effect?

Environment Agency official Roy Stokes warned weather watchers and amateur photographers against heading to Britain’s south coast in search of dramatic footage, calling it “probably the stupidest thing you can do”.

The congested streets of London, where activity is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels, were extremely calm as many people heeded the advice to stay home as the storm struck.

Trains in the Rajdhani were already running limited services during the morning commute, with speed limits.

All buses and trains were canceled in Wales, while the National Highways Agency issued a severe weather warning for strong winds covering the entire UK strategic road network by 1800 GMT.

Major river crossings including the Severn Bridge connecting Wales to south-west England and the QEII Bridge south of London were also closed.

His office said the impending storm forced heir to the throne, Prince Charles, to postpone a visit to South Wales on Friday “in the interest of public safety”.

Another storm, Dudley, caused transport disruptions and power outages when it struck Britain on Wednesday, although the damage was not extensive.

Experts said the frequency and intensity of storms may not necessarily be linked to climate change, but that storms are causing more damage as a result.

“There is little evidence that the winds in these winter storms intensified with climate change,” said Richard Allen, a professor of climatology at the University of Reading.

“Yet human-caused climate change with more intense rainfall and higher sea levels continues to warm the planet, flooding and prolonged deluge from coastal storms will be made worse when these rare, explosive storms roll into a warming world.” hit us.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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