At a speed of about 200 km/h on the coast, deserted London, greatly disrupted transport … Hurricane Eunice knocked over the south of England in a state of alert, before turning north of France on Friday.
Less than 48 hours after the passage of Hurricane Dudley, which killed at least five people in Europe, daytime gusts hit the English coast, with a maximum weight of 196 km/h recorded on the island. Inland, approaching winds were forecast.
Millions of Britons have been told to stay home by Britain’s weather service the Met Office, which has issued red alert levels – the highest level – for south west England, Wales in the south of the country but also for the south east including London.
This is the first time for the capital, which has unusually quiet roads, since the implementation of the alert system in 2011.
In Porthcaval, Wales, huge waves crashed in the morning on the edge of a sea border that was deserted by passersby, taking few intrepid photos, an AFP photographer said.
According to the grid operator, more than 70,000 homes in the south-west of England had no electricity at noon. Many schools remained closed and an inter-ministerial crisis meeting is scheduled for the afternoon.
Dozens of flights were canceled at London airports and cross Channel ferry traffic was disrupted. In Wales, all buses and trains are at a standstill.
Secretary of State for Security Damian Hinds warned on Sky News, “A life-threatening situation occurs during such a severe weather event, emphasizing that the military needs to be deployed to deal with an emergency.” The storm is ready, which may be one of the most significant in the last three decades.
The high tide coupled with strong gusts of wind increases the risk of flooding.
In Ireland, overnight, on Friday morning, more than 55,000 homes had no electricity, according to the local electricity network ESB.
After the United Kingdom, Hurricane Eunice should head to Denmark, where trains will be inactive and the Storbelt Bridge, which is the longest in the world, must be closed for most of the night, informed its operator.
In France, it was already producing waves of four meters in Brittany on Friday morning, according to the Meteo France, which has put five departments on an orange wind alert. Gusts reached 110 km/h in Cap Gris-nez to the northwest and may exceed 140 km/h locally in the afternoon on the coast.
French rail operator SNCF has announced disruptions on its regional lines.
In the Netherlands, the Royal Meteorological Institute issued a red alert on Friday and hundreds of flights were cancelled, local media reports. Trains will stop in the afternoon.
In Belgium, authorities have advised residents to limit their travel as much as possible. Rail traffic is also disrupted and many schools have reduced the day.
In Germany, according to Deutsche Bahn, trains to the north, particularly in Bremen and Hamburg, are suspended for the second consecutive day.
Extreme incidents are on the rise
Hurricane Younis is knocking in northern Europe as the continent has already been hit by severe storms in recent days, with Hurricane Dudley killing five people in Poland and Germany on Thursday.
While climate change generally reinforces and multiplies extreme events, it is not so pronounced for winds and storms (except for tropical cyclones), whose numbers vary greatly from year to year.
The latest report from the United Nations Climate Experts (IPCC), released in August, says with only little certainty, that there may be an increase in storms in the Northern Hemisphere since the 1980s.
They also forecast that precipitation related to the storm is expected to increase, but the intensity of the storm, including wind speed, is expected to remain more or less the same.
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