Thousands lose power in storm-hit Scandinavia

Strong winds sweep across Sweden, Norway and Finland in one of the region's worst storms in 30 years.

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    Strong winds have caused problems in northern Europe over the past two days [Al Jazeera] 

    It has been a stormy few days for Scandinavia, as strong winds have left tens of thousands without power.

    It was believed to be one of the most powerful storms of the past 30 years, and Norway was the first to be hit.

    For Europe’s northernmost country, the worst affected region was the coast. Travel was affected for many, including a cruise liner that was attempting to sail from Bergen and Tromsø on Christmas Eve.

    Then it was Sweden’s turn to see the storm.

    On Christmas Eve, an important day for travel, the weather got progressively worse and disrupted many people’s travel plans. There were numerous reports of accidents on the roads, and conditions deteriorated further on Christmas Day.

    Many parts of the country recorded strong winds, including Stockholm, which was battered by gusts of 85kph.

    The strongest winds were further north, in the central regions of Jämtland and Västernorrland. In Västernorrland’s largest city of Sundsvall, gusts of wind topped 100kph.

    Trafikverket, the Swedish Transport Administration, announced that all rail transport would be halted to and from Norrland as the storm approached, due to fears that trains may be stranded by fallen trees.

    Things are now improving in Sweden, but the storm continues to barrel east into Finland, where conditions are quickly deteriorating.

    Powerlines and trees have been ripped down by the storm, and over 60,000 households have suffered power cuts. Many of the blackouts occurred on the Turku Archipelago and the southwestern coast.

    The storm warning for southwestern Finland are still in force, so residents are being advised to stay indoors until the dangerous storm blows over later in the day.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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