London, Feb 18 (EFE).- Storm Eunice, one of the most powerful weather systems to affect the United Kingdom in three decades, practically shut down large parts of the country Friday and is blamed for at least three fatalities.
Hundreds of flights and passenger trains were canceled amid damage to buildings and power outages, and ferry services between Dover and Calais were suspended.
The Met Office, Britain’s weather service, issued a rare red weather warning, meaning there is danger to life, and said that monitoring equipment on the Isle of Wight detected a wind gust of 122 mph (196 km/h), the highest on record in the UK.
Mayor Sadiq Khan asked Londoners to remain indoors if possible, but the Metropolitan Police reported that a 30-year-old woman died when a tree fell on her car, while two people suffered injuries from flying debris.
A man of around 50 in the Liverpool district of Netherton was killed when an object struck his windshield while he was driving, and a 20-year-old man died when his van struck a fallen tree in Hampshire, southwest of London.
The wind ripped portions of the fabric roof of London’s emblematic O2 arena, forcing the evacuation of around 1,000 people and the postponement of a concert scheduled for Friday night.
Eunice also claimed a life in Belgium, where a 79-year-old Canadian man was pronounced dead at a hospital after falling off a boat in Ypres harbor.
A wind gust of 133 km/h (83 mph) was clocked at the airport in Ostende, Belgium. EFE gx-jug/ks/dr