Amsterdam. Three people were killed in the Netherlands and a man died in Germany on Thursday (18/01) as powerful winds toppled trees, blew trucks off the road and forced the cancelation of hundreds of flights.
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport briefly suspended all air traffic on Thursday as gusts of up to 140 kilometers per hour were recorded along the coast.
At least 260 flights were scrapped and falling roof tiles led to the closure of airport terminals. Nationwide train services and many tram and bus services were halted after the highest weather alert was issued.
Police said three people were killed by falling trees or debris in separate incidents.
In Rotterdam, shipping containers were toppled and entire roofs ripped off homes, TV showed.
Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.
In Germany, a 59-year-old man was killed by a falling tree in Emmerich near the Dutch border, a spokesman for the town said.
Some 100,000 people in North Rhine-Westphalia and in the northern state of Lower Saxony were left without power, a spokesman for German energy company Westnetz said.
He said the company hoped to restore power to those users in several hours provided the storm did not cause further damage.
German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it had suspended all services in North Rhine-Westphalia, the country's most populous state, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers and commuters stranded.
"Since this affects many long-distance connections, there are effects on the entire rail services, also internationally," Deutsche Bahn said.
Train travel was also disrupted in northern Germany while some bridges and some stretches of roads were closed in North Rhine-Westphalia.
In Munich, eight domestic flights by Lufthansa were canceled, the airport operator said.