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Spain/France: Hurricane Force Winds Kill 15

 
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:28 am
Anyone know what region of France that Francis lives? His last post here was about 12 hours ago.

Hope your power isn't out, Francis!




http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/24/15_reported_dead_in_European_storm/UPI-35391232799799/


15 reported dead in European storm
Published: Jan. 24, 2009 at 8:22 PM

BORDEAUX, France, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A storm generating hurricane-force winds punished France and Spain Saturday, killing at least 15 people, authorities said.

Local officials said the roof of a sports facility in Sant Boi de Llobregat, near Barcelona, Spain, came down, killing four children, the BBC reported. Twenty to 30 children had gathered to play baseball and had dashed inside the concrete and corrugated metal structure shortly before the collapse occurred.

The storm claimed 11 other lives in separate incidents in Spain and southwestern France, the British network said.

Winds up to 107 mph made the Atlantic storm the worst in the region since one that killed 88 people in December 1999.

Power was lost in 1.5 million French homes and tens of thousands more in Spain. Airports canceled flights and train schedules were disrupted, the BBC said.

The victims in France included a driver hit by a falling tree, a man killed by flying debris, a man crushed by a tree and a woman who died when she lost power to her breathing machine.

Other Spanish victims included a woman crushed by a door, a woman and a man killed in separate incidents involving falling walls, a park employee and a police officer killed by falling trees, a sailor on a cargo ship, and another man of unspecified causes.

Hardest hit was the area between Bordeaux and the Spanish border, which was struck late Friday before the storms moved inland overnight. Roads and railway lines in the area were blocked by fallen trees and residents were warned to stay indoors.

"I looked out of my kitchen's skylight window to see scaffolding and sheets or corrugated iron blowing of the adjacent cathedral," one witness, Simon Ritchie, told the BBC. "One such sheet blew about 50 yards from the tower and landed on a car below, smashing it in completely.

"People were screaming on the street below, and bits of masonry and scaffolding continued to fall."
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 5,499 • Replies: 17
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:45 am
@Butrflynet,
This were the strongest storms for a decade in northern Spain and south-west France and happened already on Friday night/Saturday morning - even if Francis would live there: he posted afterwards.

http://i41.tinypic.com/fn8lxv.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 03:03 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Map from today's Le Journal du Dimanche (page 9), showing the number of deaths, storm speed and number of people affected by power outage (as of yesterday, 16:30h)
http://i44.tinypic.com/2j3muxs.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 03:22 am
miniTAX lives in that region, btw, exactly where the storm was at the strongest (he posts just on one thread, and only during certain periods).
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 04:24 am
@Butrflynet,
Thank you for your concern, Butrfly!

It's sad what happened there.

I'm far from that region as I live close to Paris.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:01 am
Quote:
The Spanish Defence Ministry said the army had stepped up support to emergency services fighting a forest fire in Alicante, north of the resort town of Benidorm, that started when gales felled an electricity pylon on Saturday.

Thousands of people in the area were evacuated from their homes and spent the night in libraries and sports centres.

More than 1,000 French electricians backed up by 12 helicopters struggled to restore power to 1.1 million homes. Colleagues from Britain, Germany and Portugal were due to arrive later in the day to help out.

"After the storm, the electricity network is badly damaged ... Access to the network is particularly difficult, complicating the work of our teams," said the French grid manager Electricite Reseau Distribution France (ERDF).

The storm killed 11 people in Spain -- including four children killed when a sports centre collapsed -- and four in France, where it was the worst since December 1999.

Then, a storm had killed 88 people in France. After that, the weather forecast agency had set up an early warning system and authorities said that numerous alerts in the days before Saturday's storm had probably helped keep the death toll low.
... ... ...
In Spain, the electricity network operator REE said gales had disrupted supply on 17 lines in the north. Tens of thousands of people in the Galicia and Catalonia regions were without power, local authorities said.
... ... ...
Train traffic was back to normal between Paris and Bordeaux, the most important line from the capital to the southwest, but the Paris-Toulouse line was still out of service as were numerous regional and local railway lines, SNCF said.
Hundreds of rail passengers who were stranded on Saturday when the storm hit were given emergency shelter overnight in municipal buildings normally used for parties. They were being evacuated by coach as roads were reopening on Sunday, SNCF said. ...

Bordeaux, Toulouse and Perpignan airports had also reopened, officials said.

Spanish Airports authority AENA said there were no flight disruptions on Sunday while national train operator Renfe said all trains were running normally except those that cross the Spanish/French border.



Source:Reuters
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:36 am
Are these extra tropical storms a normal winter occurence off the Bay? What is their usual origin as they seem to be seasonally regular as our Santa Annas.








Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:56 am
@farmerman,
No, they aren't, at least of this magnitude.

Depending on a particular combination of circumstances, some tropical storms just succeed in crossing the Atlantic at a speed that allows them to keep a high percentage of their thermal power.

From my experience, storms this powerful happen every ten or fifiteen years.

However, low pressure episodes are seasonal and take the " Atlantic depression hallway", where France is just in the middle...

This "hallway" is located between two high pressure areas: Azores High and Iceland High.

Fierce winds are then observed, between December and March..

Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 07:06 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

Are these extra tropical storms a normal winter occurence off the Bay? What is their usual origin as they seem to be seasonally regular as our Santa Annas.


Such storms were usual, but didn't happen so severe during the last couple of years. Experts, in radio reports, compared the storm to a devastating winter storm which struck France and other parts of western and central Europe in 1999.

The reason was obviously, according to experts at Meteo-France, a 'jet stream' in an altitude of 10,000 meters with a speed of 300km/h, a similar situation as in 1999.
But the results weren't as severe: in 1999, 20 French metropolitan areas (out of 22) had been affected, against 3 this weekend. (The wind speed was about the same.)


Didn't notice that Francis replied already, sorry.

I do think, however, storms in general at this time of the year (as well as in other months) weren't unusual: in 1970 I was in middle of one, in the Gulf of Biskaya, on a boat/ship ...
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 07:06 am
@Francis,
Thanks Francis. DO these storms just recurve from the"hallway" and head South??
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 07:11 am
Wow. Glad you're in Paris, Francis.
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 09:23 am
Farmerman wrote:
DO these storms just recurve from the"hallway" and head South??


No, they usually don't.

This one was just on the southern part of the "hallway".

This "hallway" is believed to be comprised between Lizard Point and Cape Finisterre
0 Replies
 
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 09:23 am
@Merry Andrew,
Thanks, MA!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:11 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Nice topo, Walter.

Yikes on the winds.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:47 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
From the data on Walter's map, it looks like the storm picked up in intensity again once it hit the east coast of Perpignan in France.

Is it likely the winds will increase as it crosses the Mediterrarian to Italy?

Here are news report of the damage:




Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:55 pm
@Butrflynet,
Found the answer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7848719.stm

Quote:
Torrential rains and winds of up to 184km/h (114mph) were reported.

It is now tracking across central Italy, bringing rain and winds of 80-95km/h (50-60mph), forecasters say.

Some 1.3 million homes in France suffered power cuts while road and rail links were blocked and airports closed.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit the region on Sunday.


The impact of the storm was felt from the Channel Isles to Barcelona, but the strongest winds and heaviest rain were concentrated on south-western France.

...

The storm tracked south-eastwards and cleared the south-east coast of France during Saturday evening.

The Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily have also been affected


0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 03:39 pm
For tonight, Meteo France warned for some strong in the Landes region (but according to actual data, it was [is] just "windy")
http://i41.tinypic.com/2l9nqmw.jpg
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 03:45 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

(but according to actual data, it was [is] just "windy")


Bordeaux:
http://i41.tinypic.com/11b7o94.jpg

Biaritz:
http://i42.tinypic.com/2duxw04.jpg
0 Replies
 
 

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