Winter storm Eleanor kills three in Europe

Winter storm Eleanor wrecked havoc on Europe on Wednesday, bringing heavy winds and flooding and killing three people.

Members of the public look at waves crashing against the breakwater as storm Eleanor hits the coastline in Blackpool, Britain. Photo by Peter Powell/EPA
Members of the public look at waves crashing against the breakwater as storm Eleanor hits the coastline in Blackpool, Britain. Photo by Peter Powell/EPA

Two people drowned on Spain’s northern Basque coast after being hit by a huge wave and a skier was killed in the French Alps by a falling tree.

The storm rocked France, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands on Wednesday, where thousands of homes are without power after winds reached 100 mph.

In France, 200,000 households lost power and 15 people were injured. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed due to strong winds and parks were closed over worries over falling tree branches.

Eight people were injured in Switzerland after strong winds blew a train carriage off its tracks. Some 14,000 homes were left without power.

The storm also rocked parts of Germany and Austria, where 20 skiers had to be rescued from a cable car in Kitzbühel after winds dislodged an empty car.

High winds are set to batter Britain once again, with the Met Office saying winds of up to 75 mph are likely to move in from the south west of England.

“The strongest winds will affect southwest England and Wales during the morning, moving east to reach eastern parts of England later in the afternoon,” the Met Office said.

“Gusts of 50-60 mph are likely fairly widely with some gusts reaching 65-75 mph along exposed coasts and over high ground in the west.”

In Ireland, coastal towns are still at risk of heavy flooding.

“Towns along the south and west coast remain at risk because of the arrival of strong winds allied with the high tides,” Seán Hogan, the chair of the Government’s National Emergency Coordination Group, said.

“That, allied with a particular wind direction and wave conditions like what happened in Galway Bay yesterday, poses a real threat of further flooding along the south and west coast.”

By Sara Shayanian