Glyn Kirk Agence France-Presse Waves crash against the wall of Newhaven harbour, in the southern England on November 2, 2023, as strong winds and heavy rain from Storm 'Ciaran' batter Britain.
The powerful autumn storm Ciaran, which hit part of western Europe during the night from Wednesday to Thursday, left one person dead in France and caused significant disruption in progressing towards Great Britain and the Netherlands.
In the north of France, a truck driver was killed when a tree fell on his truck. Sixteen people, including seven firefighters, were injured in the same area, including one seriously, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.
Approximately 1.2 million households were deprived of electricity, including 780,000 in Brittany (west of France).
In the south of England, strong winds and heavy rain are causing significant disruption, with maritime connections suspended for much of the morning from the port of Dover, which has warned of delays in the coming hours. Hundreds of schools were closed.
The Channel Island of Jersey, on red alert, recorded winds of up to 160 km/h and 35 people had to stay in hotels after damage to their homes according to the police. Winds were forecast to reach up to 100km/h in the afternoon.
All flights were canceled at Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney airports.
In Cornwall (southwest of England), more than 8,500 homes are without electricity. Flooding is expected in 54 locations, mainly on the south coast of England, according to the Environment Agency.
In the Netherlands, the alert level was raised to orange, with winds expected up to 110 km/h. At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, around 200 flights, mainly to nearby European destinations, were canceled. Rail and ferry traffic was also disrupted. Faced with traffic jams, motorists were asked to favor working from home.
In the west of France, winds approached 200 km/h overnight in Finistère, at the tip of Brittany. Twenty-three of the 96 departments in the metropolitan area were on orange alert late Thursday morning, according to Météo-France. The whole of Brittany has gone into yellow wind alert, with the risk of very strong squalls concentrated between the Channel and the North.
The transport sector is disrupted in the west of the country, where the Road traffic was prohibited Thursday morning in Finistère. Regional air traffic was also disrupted.
The railways planned preventive stoppages on some trains in the Paris suburbs on Thursday morning. For high-speed trains, 90% should run but traffic will be interrupted on certain axes between Paris and cities in the West.
In Spain, many regions are subject to weather alerts due to winds that could exceed 150 km/hour. The part most affected by the storm is the Northwest, where some areas of Galicia are on red alert, due to extremely violent winds on the coast. So far, there have been no injuries.
According to the Spanish meteorological agency (Aemet), certain coastal areas in the Cantabria and Basque Country regions are also on red alert. Waves could reach 8 or 9 meters.
Thirteen flights were canceled Thursday at Bilbao airport, according to Spanish airport manager Aena. Five other cancellations took place at other airports in Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria.
The storm also led to the interruption of rail traffic on Thursday between Ourense and Vigo or between A Coruña and Ferrol, in Galicia, as well as on other small lines in the regions of Cantabria, Asturias or the Basque Country.
Portugal will not be “directly affected” by the storm Ciaran , indicated the national meteorological institute, which however placed the coastal regions of the center and north of the country under red alert.
Extreme weather events (cyclones, heatwaves, floods, droughts, etc.) are natural phenomena. But global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity can amplify them.