Storm damage to cost Germany $614m

Storm damage to cost Germany $614m

Update 5.50pm: A powerful storm has hit Europe with high winds and snow, killing at least four people in three countries, grounding flights, halting trains, ripping roofs off buildings and flipping over trucks.

Gusts of almost 90 miles per hour caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights at Amsterdam's bustling Schiphol airport, according to the Associated Press.

In the south, the high-speed ICE trains were running as normal on Friday morning, although the service in the rest of the country remained subject to major disruptions, rail operator Deutsche Bahn said.

Police in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt said Friday that a 65-year-old man died trying to secure his roof and a 34-year-old man was killed by a falling tree.

They say another 62-year-old man died in the eastern city of Enschede after a falling tree hit his vehicle.

In Belgium one woman driving through the Beausart Wood area near Brussels died when a tree fell on her vehicle.

In the town of Lippstadt in western Germany a driver was killed when strong winds caused him to lose control of his van and head into oncoming traffic.

"Due to severe weather conditions: all air traffic has been suspended until further notice", Schiphol airport said in a tweet.

Police said three people were killed by falling trees or debris in separate incidents.

"Rail traffic is now halted Germany-wide".

Eight people including two firefighters have been killed in storm-related accidents as hurricane-strength winds tear across northern Europe.

Germany's rail service said stranded passengers will receive a hotel voucher or will have the option of spending a night in a train at the station.

The German railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it had suspended almost all long-distance rail service due to the storm and significant disruptions were expected again on Friday.

"The January storm that raged across our country yesterday caused considerable damage", the Dutch Association of Insurers said.

Schiphol International Airport in Amsterdam announced that its airspace had been closed and many flights had been cancelled or delayed. German police reported numerous injuries as well a 4 deaths whilst the national railways service suspended all long distance trains as the tracks were covered in fallen trees. The DB issued an apology for the inconvenience, but said it was unable to offer an estimate of when regular service would resume.