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Storms kill three in Poland as high winds batter central Europe

Severe storms wreaked havoc across Poland, killing at least three people and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes without power.

Extreme weather conditions hit Poland on Wednesday and Thursday, tearing buildings apart and damaging cars.

Footage shared online shows a 30m crane tower toppled by strong winds in Krakow, an incident that killed two construction workers and injured four others, according to Polish police.

Local media also reported that a 70-year-old man died when a tree fell on his vehicle in the western province of Lubuskie.

Severe storms have hit central Europe this week, with falling trees also claiming lives in Germany, and the UK is bracing for Storm Eunice, which is expected to bring winds of up to 100mph and could be the worst in the country for three decades.

In Poland, the national fire brigade described the destruction in the central town of Dobrzyca as “really massive” and said firefighters were trying to gain control of the situation.

A spokesperson for the local Pleszew County Fire Department, where Dobrzyca is located, said 50 homes were damaged across the county by the storm, which hit around 5 a.m.

“But also in the (central) provinces of Lodzkie and Mazowieckie there are several, more than a dozen, damaged buildings,” added the national spokesperson. “However, the most difficult situation is in Pleszew County, Wielkopolskie Province.”

The consequences of the damage to the crane in Krakow

(screenshot)

According to the Government Security Center, as of Thursday morning, at least 324,000 homes and businesses had lost power nationwide.

The Polish Meteorological Directorate has warned that winds could exceed 62 mph in some areas.

It comes as Germany’s national rail company Deutsche Bahn announced it had halted long-distance train services in seven of the country’s 16 states after storm Ylenia hit northern Germany in the early hours of Thursday morning.

On Thursday afternoon, high winds claimed one victim in a car after a tree collapsed on a country road near the town of Bad Bevensen in Lower Saxony, local police said.

The storms also caused a series of power outages across the country. According to the Stoerungsauskunft website, which partners with German energy providers to collect data on current outages, more than 170 cities have been affected.

In Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), power cuts affected around 50,000 households, according to a statement on the official Borken district website.

A firefighter stands next to a falling tree on a road in Wilkenburg near Hanover, Germany,

(AP)

The UK is also facing its most intense storm in years as Storm Eunice sweeps across the country. A rare red warning has been issued across the south of England and London from the Met Office – indicating a ‘danger to life’ is imminent.

Winds of up to 100mph could ‘sweep people off the streets’ when Storm Eunice hits, expert says as military ready to help and widespread school closures announced in Wales and in Devon.

The storm is expected to bring blizzard conditions further north and will hit just days after Storm Dudley saw winds and rain sweep across Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland, knocking out power for tens of thousands of people and immobilizing trains.


The Independent Gt

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