Amsterdam’s Schiphol axes all flights as storm brings chaos to Europe

Severe storm lashes Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and UK, uprooting power lines and trees.

All flights at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam have been cancelled as a severe storm batters north-west Europe.

The hub scrapped 260 flights amid gusts of nearly 90mph (140km/h). “Due to severe weather conditions all air traffic has been suspended until further notice,” a spokesman said.

Schiphol later said some flights would resume as the storm moved inland, but that there would be severe delays.

Germany, Belgium and the UK have also been hit by strong winds. In Britain, 70mph gusts were recorded, and thousands of homes in south-east England have been left without electricity.

Overhead power lines that supply trains have been damaged and trees were brought crashing on to tracks, causing severe delays for thousands of commuters.

Driving conditions in parts of Scotland were described by the Met Office as extremely hazardous, and motorists were advised to stay off the roads because of blustery winds, heavy snow and icy conditions.

Meanwhile, water authorities in the low-lying Netherlands were monitoring the weather conditions and preparing to close locks and storm barriers because of high water levels.

Many trains were delayed and cancelled between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn after a collision between a train and a trampoline, the national rail service said. Trees were uprooted and lorries toppled by high winds, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Neighbouring Belgium was also lashed by the storm, leading to the closure of Ghent port.

In Germany, railway operator Deutsche Bahn said it had suspended all services in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the country’s most populous state, leaving hundreds of thousands of travellers and commuters stranded.

“Since this affects many long-distance connections, there are effects on the entire rail services, also internationally,” Deutsche Bahn said.

In many parts of Germany, schools remained shut as the country prepared for heavy winds, snow and rain. The authorities advised residents of western and northern Germany to stay at home on Thursday.

The DPA news agency reported that police had said there were crashes “every other minute” on highways between Wilhelmshaven and Westerstede in northern Germany.