Storms batter Britain

2015-01-10 22:35
Waves batter the harbour wall in Newhaven on the south coast of England. (Glyn Kirk, AFP)

Waves batter the harbour wall in Newhaven on the south coast of England. (Glyn Kirk, AFP)

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London - More than 30 ,000 homes in Britain were without power for a second day on Saturday as a powerful jet stream moving over the Atlantic brought gale-force winds and lashing rain.

Two of four men who braved stormy seas for a swim in Brighton on England's south coast were feared drowned.

The maritime and coastguard agency said big waves meant there was "no chance of finding them alive" and warned against anyone going in the water.

The Met Office warned of "erratic weather" across Britain and issued a yellow "be prepared" warning for plunging temperatures, hurricane-force winds and snowfalls on high ground.

Wind gusting at up to 100km/h caused chaos, with house walls blown down, roofs ripped off and high-sided vehicles blown over on exposed road.

The high winds brought down power cables, leaving more than 30 000 homes in Scotland without electricity.

Three children were injured when a tree fell on a school bus in Pontypool, South Wales.

Hull was holed

Weather forecaster MeteoGroup said in a statement: "We're in the middle of winter, so erratic weather is not uncommon, but the potency of these conditions is unusual. There is a strange mixture of things going on."

High winds and choppy seas delayed attempts to right the listing Hoegh Osaka car transporter that got into trouble leaving Southampton, on England's south coast, a week ago.

Salvors abandoned plans to begin pumping out 3 000 tons of water that gushed in after the hull was holed by an earth mover that slid across the deck when the ship listed 50 degrees.

The 51 000-ton Osaka, carrying 1 400 cars and more than 100 diggers and other construction equipment, dragged its anchor for more than 100m before tugs managed to hold it fast against wind and tide.

In Germany, strong wind and rain caused disrupted some train lines and prompted the closing of some ski resorts.

In some area, wind gusts of 160km/h were recorded, the German meteorological service said.

The Netherlands delayed by one day the arrival of the Globe container ship, the world's largest, which will now dock on Sunday.

Read more on:    germany  |  weather
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