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Deadly Storm Eleanor batters Europe

Community Admin 6 Jan 3
Derailed train near Lenk, in Switzerland, on 3 January 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption The train overturned near Lenk in central Switzerland, lightly injuring several people

Winter storm Eleanor has swept into most of northern Europe, including France and Germany after battering the UK, cutting power to tens of thousands of homes and affecting transport.

A skier died in the French Alps and 15 others were injured elsewhere in the country, four of them seriously.

A train was blown off its tracks in Switzerland, leaving several people with minor injuries. One person was hit by a falling tree in the Netherlands.

Wind gusts may reach 200km/h (124mph).

Storm Eleanor is the UK's fifth named storm of the season.

In northern France, the storm cut power to more than 200,000 households and Eleanor is set to move to other regions throughout the day, including Corsica.

Air travel was also disrupted in the capital, Paris, and in the east of the country.

In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was closed because of the strong winds. The city's parks have also been closed until the storm dies down because of worries over falling tree branches.

A skier was killed by a falling tree in Morillon, in the Haute-Savoie region of eastern France.

Image caption A truck overturned on a busy road in Switzerland
Image caption A roof lies in pieces in a street in Stuttgart, south-western Germany, after the storm

In Germany, the storm - named Burglind there - has swept over much of the country. It packed gusts of more than 120km/h in the west of the country and led to transport disruption, reports say.

Switzerland has also been badly hit, with some 14,000 homes without power. The high winds left several people stranded in a ski lift in St Gallen canton, overturned a light airplane in Stans and snapped the 13m (42ft) high Christmas tree in the capital Bern, Reuters news agency reports.

Meanwhile, record wind gusts of 195k/ph (122mph) were recorded on Pilatus Peak near the Swiss city of Lucerne, broadcaster SRF reported.

Image caption Waves pound the seafront in Auderville, Normandy

Belgium was put on "orange" alert, the third of four warning levels, with officials urging people to be cautious when going out because of tree branches and other flying objects.

In the Netherlands, more than 200 flights were cancelled at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. Several main roads and train lines were also closed.

Image caption A car drives along a flooded road in Merseyside, UK

In the UK thousands of homes are without power and travel has been disrupted after Storm Eleanor hit there.

The Met Office recorded gusts reaching 100mph (161km/h) overnight with a weather yellow warning still in place for Wales, England, most of Northern Ireland and parts of southern Scotland.

In the Republic of Ireland, 97mph gusts were recorded, and there was flooding, travel disruption and damage to buildings.