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Thursday, July 25, 2024

One dead as Storm Poly hits Netherlands and ‘code red’ weather alert urges millions to stay indoors | World News

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Millions of people across the Netherlands have been warned to stay indoors as a rare summer storm hit the Dutch coast, severely disrupting air and rail travel.

The country’s national meteorology institute has issued its highest “code red” storm warning to residents of the Noord-Holland province, which includes Amsterdam.

It urged them not to leave their homes and to reserve emergency service numbers for life-threatening situations.

A woman in the town of Haarlem died as she was hit by a falling tree, news agency Nu.nl reported, citing local police.

Local broadcaster AT5 said two people were also injured in Amsterdam when trees fell on their cars.

Storm Poly hit the country with heavy rain and powerful winds, with one gust on the west coast of Amsterdam being recorded at just over 90mph, the institute said.

The storm is the Netherlands’ worst ever during the summer months and its strongest overall since January 2018, weather agency Weeronline said.

The capital city’s Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s biggest and busiest hubs, cancelled more than 300 flights. Air traffic is expected to be limited until at least 3pm local time (1pm GMT), a spokesperson said.

Train operators NS and Arriva also halted all services in the country’s north and a motorway north of Amsterdam was closed due to falling trees.

The storm will move east over the north of the country over the morning and is expected to become less intense through the afternoon, before blowing into Denmark and Germany.

Heavy storms in the Netherlands typically occur between October and April.

The last heavy summer storm there was in 2015 and was the first in over a century.

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