Deadly storm hits Russia
The St. Jude storm that had passed through and caused chaos in Northern Europe has now reached Russia. Tuesday, St. Jude caused a blackout in hundreds of settlements in the North-West of the country and led to the rising water levels in the Neva, as well as rough waters in the Gulf of Finland and Ladoga Lake. The storm took thirteen lives and caused wide scale destruction in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands.
In the UK, the storm wind took out transmission facilities; more than half a million homes were left without power; highways were blocked by uprooted trees and rivers that poured over their banks. Rail transport was also working erratically, not to mention air communication: over a hundred flights were cancelled at London’s Heathrow airport alone. According to the Director of the Hydrometeorological Research Center of Russia Roman Vilfand, troubles are expected in the Leningrad region as well:
“Wind speed is expected to be 25-28 meters per second; this is a very strong wind. It can lead to the destruction of weaker buildings, trees can be toppled. Previously, we predicted the level of floods in St. Petersburg. The fact is that the South-West wind “locks up” the natural flow of the Neva River into the Baltic Sea, and the water level begins to rise rapidly. Sometimes waves start going in the opposite direction.”
More than 200 villages in the Leningrad region have already been left without electricity; fortunately though, more serious damage is not expected in St. Petersburg.
As the storm passed through Europe towards Russia’s Western borders, its energy noticeably weakened. We should also not be afraid of floods; a dam would protect the Northern capital from it, leading specialist of the Fobos Weather Center Vadim Zavodchenkov said during a live Voice of Russia broadcast:
“The dam will block the main mass of waves in the mouth of the Neva River, and a catastrophic scenario is unlikely. A certain rise of the water level will undoubtedly happen, but we believe that the figures will be insignificant and are unlikely to exceed one meter”.
But the Europeans should worry, Vadym Zavodchenkov said. According to the expert, in the near future, a new powerful cyclone will be born over the North Atlantic and at the weekend, it could deliver a new blow to the UK and Scandinavia.
Storm-battered northern Europe slowly gets back to normal
Countries in northern Europe lashed by a storm that killed 16 people were on Tuesday still struggling with power outages and travel disruptions a day after the tempest.
After gusting winds and heavy rain, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and northern Germany began weighing up the damage left in the storm’s wake.
In Britain, where four people died, 61,000 households were still without electricity, albeit down from the 600,000 who were cut off at some point on Monday, according to the Energy Networks Association.
While some trains were delayed or cancelled, services were returning to schedule.
In Germany, where seven people have died in the storms since Sunday, train operator Deutsche Bahn warned that lines in the north of the country could take time to resume normal services.