A general view of a fallen tree in the street as Storm Eunice hits the country, in Amsterdam, Netherlands February 18, 2022 in this still image obtained from a social media video. Naci Kapan/via REUTERS
February 19, 2022
THE HAGUE (Reuters) -Falling trees killed three people as Storm Eunice pummelled the Netherlands on Friday, damaging buildings and blowing off parts of the roof at the stadium of soccer club ADO Den Haag, authorities said.
The government sent out text alerts telling people to stay indoors and said they should only call emergency services in life-threatening situations. “The emergency number is overloaded,” read the message.
Two people were killed by falling trees in Amsterdam, and a third in the nearby Diemen area, the city’s fire department said.
“Do not go out on the street anymore. It is truly dangerous,” the city’s police force said on Twitter.
Schiphol airport cancelled about 390 flights, a spokesperson said.
Schools sent children home early and train were cancelled nationwide from 2 p.m. local time (1300 GMT). Several trucks were overturned by strong winds, disrupting traffic, Dutch traffic monitoring organisation ANWB said.
Images of a strip of roof hanging off The Hague soccer club’s stadium circulated on social media.
Elsewhere in The Hague, police evacuated residents living next to church in the central Elandstraat whose dual spires have become unstable, ANP news agency reported. Videos on social media show one of the spires swaying in the wind as police cordoned of the immediate surroundings.
In neighbouring Belgium the centre of Asse, a small town north east of Brussels, was evacuated because of the risk of a church tower collapsing.
Eunice, an Atlantic storm, has been battering Britain and Ireland most of Friday, causing widespread damage and killing at least one person.
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) issued a “code red” warning of gusts reaching up to 130 km per hour (80 miles per hour) in coastal areas.
(Reporting by Stephanie van den Berg and Toby Sterling; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Andrew Heavens)
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