5 killed as deadly storm Friederike hits Netherlands, Germany

Amsterdam airport cancels all flights due to violent storms

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Traffic on Dutch roads was plunged into chaos, with the wind blowing over tractor trailers and toppling trees, hampering efforts to clean up the mess.

The three fatalities occurred in separate incidents in the center of the Netherlands, where falling trees and building debris hit the elderly victims.

The Dutch rail system NS posted on its website that "all trains have been canceled until further notice with the exception of Arriva train services in Limburg and the North of the Netherlands".

Train service was halted in Germany as wind gusts up to 89 miles per hour made that method of travel too risky as well, according to BBC.com.

A powerful storm has hit Europe with high winds and snow, killing at least four people in three countries, grounding flights, halting trains, ripping roofs off buildings and flipping over trucks.

The Dutch national weather service recorded wind gusts of up to 140 kph (87 mph) in the southern port of Hook of Holland as the storm passed over.

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

By mid-afternoon, the storm had passed over Belgium and the Netherlands and into Germany, where police reported several injuries.

German Railways cancelled all train services for the country's most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia due to the high winds. All air traffic was suspended during the worst of the storm, and wind damage forced parts of the airport to shut down.

In many parts of Germany, schools remained shut as the country prepared for heavy winds, snow and rain.

KLM, the national carrier, had scrapped more than 200 flights before the storm, and the main railway station in The Hague was closed as authorities feared that the storm would blow away parts of the station's new glass roof. There was disruption between the towns of Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn after a train struck a trampoline on the tracks, the national rail service said. Interior Minister Carmen Dan said 32,000 people were left without power. Thousands of homes in southeast England are without electricity, the Independent reported.

Overhead power lines that supply trains have been damaged and trees were brought crashing on to the tracks, causing severe delays for thousands of commuters. Authorities freed a bus carrying 22 people that was stranded in snowdrifts in Romania's eastern Galati region.

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