London, Feb 18 (EFE).- Extreme winds from Atlantic storm Eunice, one of the most powerful to hit the UK in three decades, paralyzed the southern half of the country today and caused the death of a woman in London and a man in the suburbs of Liverpool.
Hundreds of flights and trains were canceled during the day, numerous buildings were damaged and almost 200,000 homes were left without electricity.
The UK Met Office on the Isle of Wight recorded the strongest gust of wind measured to date in England (122 miles per hour, or 196 kilometers per hour), beating a record dating from 1979 (189 kilometers per hour, at Cornwall).
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has called on citizens to avoid leaving their homes and to postpone all non-essential travel. However, a woman in her 30s died when a tree fell on her car in the north of the British capital, according to the Metropolitan Police, and at least two other people were injured by trees and objects detached by the gale in London.
In the residential area of Netherton, north of Liverpool, England, a man in his 50s died after an object struck the windscreen of his vehicle while he was driving, forces have reported. Merseyside County Security.
El aeropuerto de la City londinense, así como dos de las main train stations of the capital, Euston y Waterloo, suspendieron todas las salidas y llegadas para evitar incidents, mientras que en Gales se habían cancelado ya all los trayectos ferroviarios desde el jueves por the night.
Heathrow and Gatwick airports remained operational, although more than 400 flights were canceled throughout Friday, and videos of planes struggling to land due to high winds proliferated on media and social networks.
DAMAGE TO STRUCTURES
The strong wind destroyed a significant part of the roof of the emblematic O2 Arena pavilion in London, with a capacity of nearly 20,000 spectators, of which nearly a thousand people were evacuated in the morning, without no personal damage is reported.
This damage has forced for the moment to cancel the concert of the group Fugees which was planned for this evening in a pavilion which usually programs many sporting and cultural events.
Other large structures, such as the Millennium Bridge, which crosses the River Thames through London, and the roof of Tottenham’s stadium in the north of the city, visibly rippled at times during the blizzard, although no damage was seen. has been reported. .
One of the three large chimneys at the Grain power station, about 60 kilometers east of the British capital, collapsed without causing any casualties, according to the electricity company Uniper UK, which manages the facility.
OVERWHELMED EMERGENCY SERVICES
Both the London Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service declared a ‘serious incident’ condition due to the high volume of calls recorded by the emergency telephone since early morning.
Between 10:30 a.m. GMT and 1:00 p.m. GMT, the emergency service received more than 550 notifications, a number of communications that usually accumulates in 24 hours.
The British Energy Networks Association (ENA) said more than 190,000 customers were without power this afternoon due to the storm.
BAD WEATHER DURING THE WEEKEND
The Met Office is maintaining a ‘yellow alert’ for strong winds on the south coast of England for Saturday, although the storm’s impact across the rest of the country will moderate after tonight.
It warns, however, that the damage suffered today to much infrastructure will continue to impede travel in the southern half of the UK for the next few days.
Although Eunice’s power has outstripped most storms in recent years, experts warn it’s an increasingly common occurrence.
“Every new storm seems to break records. I’ve been there for 30 years and the weather seems to be getting worse and worse,” John Curtin, director of operations at the UK Environment Agency, told the media. ECE
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