Europe storm: Germany in huge clean-up as trains run again

image copyrightAFP
image captionMany fallen trees are still blocking railway lines across Germany

Rail services are getting back to normal in Germany as trees and other debris are cleared from lines hit by a severe storm that claimed eight lives.

Three people died earlier in the Netherlands in accidents caused by hurricane-strength winds.

Fallen trees and other debris are still blocking many railway lines in Germany. Work went on all night to clear them.

The storm has moved east into Poland. It was the most powerful storm to hit Germany for 11 years.

Those killed in Germany included two firefighters and two lorry drivers whose vehicles were blown over.

Amsterdam Schiphol airport says "we expect a normal day, but it can be busier at the airport due to cancellations and rebooking of yesterday's flights".

Flights were suspended at Schiphol for several hours on Thursday because of the high winds, which also caused some roof damage there. The gusts lashing the Netherlands reached speeds of up to 140km/h (90mph).

media captionHurricane-strength gusts of up to 140km/h (90mph) caused transport chaos

Germany's national rail operator Deutsche Bahn (DB) says more than 200 sections of railway were damaged by the storm, nicknamed "Friederike", and helicopters are flying over the affected lines to speed up repair work.

DB expects to run normal services at the weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of rail travellers were stranded in Germany on Thursday. Hotels were flooded with last-minute bookings, while other travellers spent the night aboard trains stuck in stations.

In Leipzig, eastern Germany, the storm caused a power cut and the priority was to restore street lighting.

Across Germany many cars were also smashed by storm debris.

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