Trains, flights and ferries have been cancelled and weather warnings issued across the United Kingdom as a storm with hurricane-force winds up to 129 km/h (80 mph) batters the region.
With howling winds and driving rain, forecasters said Storm Ciara would also hit Ireland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.
“Storm Ciara is expected to bring delays and cancellations to air, ferry and train services; damage to buildings and a good chance of power cuts,” Britain’s Met Office, the national weather agency, said.
At least 10 rail companies in Britain have sent out “do not travel” warnings, and nearly 20 others have told passengers to expect delays as strong winds on Sunday were expected to damage electrical wires and clutter train tracks with broken tree limbs and other debris.
London’s Heathrow Airport and several airlines decided to consolidate flights on Sunday to reduce the number that would be cancelled by strong winds.
British Airways was offering to rebook customers for domestic and European flights out of Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports. Virgin Airlines cancelled some flights.
Storm Ciara, named by the Met Office national weather agency, was also supposed to bring heavy rains, prompting the agency to issue 22 emergency flood warnings and 149 flood watch alerts.
The Humber Bridge near Hull in northern England restricted traffic due to the high winds, banning high-sided trucks and camper vehicles.
High waves in the Irish Sea forced ferry companies to cancel several trips.
A 10-km run in London that was expected to draw 25,000 runners was also cancelled.