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.


Storm wreaks havoc ahead of Christmas

25 December 2013, 06:34

London - Disrupted transport networks and power cuts wreaked havoc in Britain and France on Tuesday, one of the busiest travel and shopping days of the year just before Christmas, after hurricane-force winds and torrential rain lashed the region.

Winds of up to 145km/h hit both sides of the Channel, killing at least three people, as heavy downpours caused rivers to flood, traffic bottlenecks, and rail, flight and ferry services to be cancelled.

Airports in the south of Britain were disrupted with some flights from Britain's busiest airport, Heathrow, cancelled or delayed, while the country's second busiest airport, Gatwick, said that one terminal had been hit by a major power outage.

British train operators also cancelled hundreds of services on Tuesday morning, by which time the storm had abated, leaving hundreds of thousands of people stranded and unable to travel in and out of London.

Blow for retailers

The weather is expected to be a blow for British retailers, eager to cash in on the traditional pre-Christmas rush.

"Given retailers' hopes that the last couple of days before Christmas would see a final strong surge in sales, the awful weather could not have come at a worse time," IHS analyst Howard Archer said.

Brittany and Normandy were among the regions worst hit in France, where 240 000 homes were deprived of electricity while in southern England, 100 000 homes were cut off from the power grid.

British police said one man, 48, drowned in the Rothay River near Ambleside, Cumbria, in northern England, after falling into the river trying to save his dog, which survived, while a woman's body was found in a river in North Wales.

In France, a teenager was killed and another seriously injured on Monday when a wall in a building site collapsed in Normandy. Naval authorities said a Russian sailor was reported missing after being blown overboard a cargo ship off the coast of Brest.


Energy network groups in both countries said engineers were working to address the damage before the Christmas festivities start.

A spokespersonfor France's SNCF national rail service said there were numerous delays but that no rail lines had been put out of service by the storms so far.

Britain's Environment Agency said flooding was expected to affect much of the country with 250 flood alerts, 80 flood warnings and one severe flood warning in place. Some towns in France's Brittany region faced severe flooding.

Further wet and stormy weather could hit Britain's shores on Friday, warned the country's weather forecasting service, causing more headaches for retailers during "the sales", the usually busy post-Christmas discounting period.

- Reuters

Tags france

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...