Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


St Jude stalls UK transport system

28 October 2013, 12:31

London - Britain faced travel chaos on Monday and 30 000 homes were without electricity in north-western France as a massive storm swept in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Britain's national weather centre the Met Office warned of falling trees, damage to buildings and disruption to power supplies and transport as the storm hit England's southwest coast late Sunday.

Between 20 and 40mm of rain were predicted to fall within six to nine hours as the storm tracked eastwards across Britain, with a chance of localised flooding.

It will be followed by widespread gusts of 97 to 113km/h across southern England and south Wales on Monday, with winds reaching more than 130km/h in some areas, forecasters say.

The Met Office issued an "amber" wind warning for the region, the third highest in a four-level scale, and urged people to delay their Monday morning journeys to work to avoid the worst of the bad weather.

In northwest France 30 000 homes were without electricity early on Monday, said the ERDF distribution network, after wind gusts reached 133km/h in some areas knocking down power lines but no major damage or injury were reported.

London looked set for a chaotic rush-hour after train companies First Capital Connect, C2C, Greater Anglia, Southern and Gatwick Express services all said they would not run services on Monday until it was safe to do so. That is unlikely to be before 09:00, according to forecasts.

Robin Gisby from line operator Network Rail warned commuters to expect severe disruption.

"If we get through this in the morning, restore the service during the afternoon and are able to start up a good service on Tuesday morning, in the circumstances I'll be pretty pleased," he added.

Major airports also warned of disruption to flights with London hub Heathrow expecting approximately 30 cancellations.

Cross-channel train service Eurostar said it would not be running trains on Monday until 07:00, meaning delays to early services.

Several ferry operators said they had cancelled some cross-Channel services and Irish Sea crossings.

Meanwhile, the rough conditions led to rescuers standing down the search for a 14-year-old boy who was washed out to sea from a beach in East Sussex on England's south coast.

Britain last experienced similar wind strengths in March 2008, but forecaster Helen Chivers told AFP the expected damage was more comparable with a storm seen in October 2002.

Prime Minister David Cameron received an update from officials on contingency planning in a conference call on Sunday, amid fears of similar damage wrought by the "Great Storm" of October 1987.

That left 18 people dead in Britain and four in France, felled 15 million trees and caused damages worth more than $1.6bn as winds blew up to185km/h.

Martin Young, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: "While this is a major storm for the UK, we don't currently expect winds to be as strong as those seen in the 'Great Storm' of 1987 or the 'Burns Day storm' of 1990.

"We could see some uprooted trees or other damage from the winds and there's a chance of some surface water flooding from the rainfall, all of which could lead to some disruption."

Veteran weather forecaster Michael Fish also said Sunday's storm was unlikely to be as severe as 26 years ago, although his comments will be taken with a pinch of salt in Britain.

Fish was the BBC's main television weatherman in 1987 but famously denied that a major storm was on its way just hours before it hit.

This year's storm has been named St Jude after the patron saint of lost causes, whose feast day is on Monday.


Tags weather

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...