Deadly Storm Babet batters Scotland and Scandinavia

Amid the relentless downpour of Storm Babet, tragedy struck in Scotland, where two lives were lost and families found themselves trapped in their flooded homes.

Two people died and families were trapped in flooded homes in Scotland Friday as Storm Babet moved east, prompting the cancellation of flights and ferries in Scandinavia.

The UK’s Met Office issued a rare red severe weather warning for parts of eastern Scotland with “exceptional rainfall” of up to 22 centimetres forecast for Friday and Saturday.

Police said the body of a 57-year-old woman had been recovered after she was swept into a river in the county of Angus on Thursday afternoon.

A second person also died in Angus on Thursday evening after a falling tree hit the van the 56-year-old was driving.

ALSO READ: Disasters cause $3.8 trillion in crop loses over 30 years – FAO

Officials in the southern Irish county of Cork, where hundreds of homes and businesses were flooded earlier in the week, described the deluge there as the worst in at least 30 years.

A community hospital for the elderly had to be evacuated in the town of Midleton, Cork, where the main street was up to four feet under water.

As the storm hit Scotland into Friday, Scottish leader Humza Yousaf warned that he could not “stress how dangerous” conditions were, in particular in the northeastern town of Brechin.

Emergency services were battling to reach trapped residents but being hampered by strong currents and flooding of up to six feet (nearly two metres).

ALSO READ: Five killed by India glacial lake burst flood, 23 soldiers missing

“It’s just absolutely horrendous. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said local councillor Jill Scott, adding that hundreds of homes had been flooded.

“People are trapped… Some have been stuck there for hours.

“The boats are trying to get to them (but) they can’t get to them because the current is too strong.”

Storm heads east

Scandinavian countries were braced for the storm’s arrival Friday, with the strongest winds expected overnight into Saturday.

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) and Denmark’s meteorological agency DMI have issued warnings over heavy rains, elevated water levels and gale-force winds with gusts reaching storm force.

Copenhagen Airport in Denmark said on social media that 77 flights to and from the hub had been cancelled.

Several ferry operators also suspended services between Denmark and Germany, as well as routes between Sweden and Germany and Sweden and Poland.

ALSO READ: Landslide triggered by heavy rain kills 27 in Cameroon

In Scotland, fire crews and the coastguard began evacuating residents in Angus on Thursday, knocking on doors and urging people to leave.

“Over 350 homes across Angus were contacted yesterday (Thursday) and advised to evacuate,” a spokesman for Angus council said.

“Brechin, and increasingly other parts of Angus, are now only accessible via boat,” he added.

Train services meanwhile were severely disrupted as far south as central England due to heavy rainfall and high winds.

Some routes in northwest England and north Wales were completely closed due to flooding, rail officials said.

The Met Office has issued a string of less severe yellow and amber warnings indicating adverse weather conditions including flooding, heavy rain and high winds for other parts of central and northern England.

– By: © Agence France-Presse

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.