Severe storm batters northern Europe, Baltic

Berlin/Riga, Aug 7 (EFE).- A strong storm bringing torrential rains and hurricane-force winds, has caused damage in northern Europe and the Baltic region, and in some places authorities have declared a state of alert.

In Sweden the storm has caused damage, road collapses, air traffic delays and forced the cancellation of a music festival.

Swedish authorities have issued red alerts in several locations for the next two days after the storm began to lash the north of the country on Sunday night.

The storm has also been uprooting trees in Denmark, although authorities have so far reported no traffic problems.

Police have warned that more trees will not withstand the storm, and have advised those who have to leave their homes to drive carefully and avoid streets and roads through forests.

In Norway, police have advised people to work from home, warning that the storm could be the strongest in 30 years.

Torrential rains and hail also caused damage to buildings and vehicles and winds have uprooted trees across the Baltic.

In Lithuania, there was flooding in the streets of the capital, Vilnius, and in other cities hail broke car windows and buildings.

In Latvia, dangerous winds and falling trees closed a popular nature park in the town of Tervete and forced the evacuation of staff and visitors.

The gardens of the Latvian Horticultural Institute in the city of Dobele were devastated by the storm. Dobele city officials reported that the roofs of several houses and buildings had been torn off and streets were blocked by fallen trees.

In Riga, the capital, there has also been flooding in the streets.

Latvian Prime Minister Kristianis Karins has asked government ministers to prepare a report on storm damage across the country.

Estonian media reported that the storm hit the country’s islands in the Baltic Sea first, dropping huge amounts of hail over the island of Saarema.

The national weather service issued the highest level storm warning and several covered parking lots in the capital Tallinn will allow free parking Monday night for anyone who wants to protect their car from a possible hail storm.

As of Monday afternoon, there were no reports of people injured by the storms.

The inclement weather came after temperatures had reached 30 C on Sunday after a cool, rainy period.

In Germany, weather services have warned that the storm could hit the coast over the North Sea and over the Baltic, and maritime traffic has been partially disrupted.

On the North Sea coast there is danger of flooding in several locations.EFE


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