OT? EUROPEAN STORMS: Toll at 80 as hellish weather harms monuments

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EUROPEAN STORMS: The death toll from the worst storms to hit Europe since records began moved to more than 80 yesterday, with France in particular left counting the enormous cost to its cultural treasures. Hurricane-force winds swept across France, Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Spain on Sunday with devastating force. France braced last night for a new storm, which, the weather service warned, would hit the south, with snow likely. The death toll across Europe had earlier risen to 80 yesterday: in France, 38 people died, according to interior ministry figures. More than one million people remained without electricity in France and there were widespread power cuts in Germany and Switzerland.

In France, emergency services were still battling to clear roads blocked by trees ripped down by winds of more than 200 k.p.h. Train services in and out of Paris were badly disrupted. The list of damaged buildings reads like an A-Z of the French capital's historic buildings: the Versailles chateau, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Panthion and the Sainte Chapelle. An estimated 10,000 trees were blown down in the grounds of Versailles, including one planted by Napoleon. Major renovation work will be needed at the Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, where four small spires were blown off the roof and part of the northern vestry collapsed. At Sainte Chapelle, on the Nle de la Citi, considered one of the masterpieces of Gothic architecture, the top of the northern spire blew off onto a priceless Genoese stained glass window. Six other historic churches in Paris were damaged, and around 150,000 trees - half the total - were uprooted in the Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne. Strong winds also disrupted the clean-up of oil slicks along the western French coast from the sunken tanker, Erika. At least 17 people died and hundreds were hurt in Germany, 11 of them in the south-western region of BadenW|rttemberg. Germany also suffered widespread power cuts and the damage ran into hundreds of millions of German marks, officials said. Snow-blocked roads were closed in Switzerland, where, police said, 11 people died in the storm. Emergency services and volunteers battled to get through snowdrifts to reach isolated villages in the northern canton of Jura. In the Italian Alps, three people were killed, one person was missing and another badly injured after an avalanche near the village of Brusa, in the Argentera valley, on Sunday afternoon, police said. Rescue services were only alerted overnight when parents did not see the five return home. In Austria, 48 Latin-American pilgrims on their way to Rome were injured when their doubledecker bus overturned on an icy road near Innsbruck overnight. On Sunday, 20 British tourists were injured when their bus slid off the road in the Austrian Tyrol. Both buses were using summer tyres, without chains. The bad weather continued in southern Europe, where winds were still gusting at up to 135 k.p.h Eight people died in Britain. One sailor was missing off Scotland and another in the Channel, while a third was fatally injured off the Scilly isles. In Spain, two people were killed in the north-western city of Oviedo when a wall fell on them. A man escaped from a blaze at a hunting cabin in central Sweden but froze to death as he fled, naked, on a snowmobile. Aftonbladet newspaper said the man failed to save any of his clothes after the fire broke out in the cabin. He was found dead on his snowmobile on Sunday, about 4 km from the burnt-out cabin.

(AFP, Reuters)

-- Risteard mac Thomais (uachtaran@ireland.com), December 28, 1999


Maybe Art Bell's on to something, Venezuela, now Europe...

Thanks Risteard.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), December 28, 1999.

Death toll from European tempest tops 100 as fresh storm hits PARIS, Dec 28 (AFP) - A new killer storm hit France and Spain late Monday, just a day after Europe's worst tempest on record, with the total death toll topping 100 as a trail of destruction swept across the continent.

France bore the brunt of the fierce winds for the second day running. Monday's storm hit the southwest of the country leaving at least 12 dead and one fisherman missing at sea. Many were injured by falling trees and debris.

A further five people died in northern Spain as the storm-force winds, which reached 150 kilometres per hour (93 mph) in France, returned to the Atlantic coastline.

The new assault came as emergency services across western Europe struggled to clean up the damage from Sunday's fatal storms.

In France 40 people were killed Sunday -- almost half the toll of 82 counted on the day across Britain, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy as the storm swept eastwards.

At least three people died in Britain and a Frenchwoman was swept to her death in a French Channel port over Christmas when the series of storms began to lash western Europe.

Six of the victims of Monday's storm were drivers whose cars were hit by falling trees in the Charente region of France's southwest coast, the worst affected area.

Another person was killed by a falling chimney stack in the area.

The local authorities declared a state of emergency late Monday.

A 12-year-old boy was killed when a tree fell onto his home a little further inland at Haute-Vienne.

A 70-year-old woman from Bordeaux was also killed by a falling tree, police said. Dozens of people were injured, many seriously.

One man had his arms broken when scaffolding toppled from the Saint Andre Cathedral in the centre of Bordeaux. Flooding along the banks of the Gironde river was described by people in the area as the worst they had seen.

"I can't believe it. I was just going out to do the shopping ... Now I can't get back into my home," said one man.

Dozens of homes and cars were inundated by the floodwaters.

As France's state electricity company EDF worked to restore power to 1.5 million French homes on Sunday, Monday's storm knocked out another 900,000 households.

Floodwaters, fallen trees and power failures had brought France's road, rail and air networks to a virtual standstill Monday night.

In Spain, the authorities said violent winds of up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour pushed a wall down on two construction workers in Oviedo.

Two others died when a crane fell on them in Bilbao, while a fifth was killed in nearby Barakaldo when a construction site hut crushed him.

Efforts to clean up oil slicks along the western French coast from the sunken tanker Erika were all but abandoned because of the deteriorating weather conditions.

Sunday's storms took a dreadful toll on some of Paris' most famous monuments. The list of damaged buildings read like an A-Z of the French capital's historic buildings: the Versailles chateau, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Pantheon, Sainte Chapelle and six historic churches suffered extensive damage.

An estimated 10,000 trees, including one planted by Napoleon Bonaparte, were blown down in the grounds of Versailles, while the wind tore strips of lead from the chateau roof.

About 150,000 trees -- half the total -- were uprooted in the capital's Vincennes and Boulogne woods.

The roofers and plumbers union estimated that 500 million francs (76 million euros/dollars) of damage was done to private property in the capital; 10 times greater than in the last major storm in 1990.

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin defended the state weather forecasters against criticism that they had failed to predict the storm. "The exceptional can not always be foreseen," he said.

Where necessary, state aid would be given to help communities repair the damage, he added.

In Germany, at least 17 people were killed and hundreds hurt in the first storm, nicknamed "Lothar" in the country.

Fallen trees and snow were still disrupting road and rail traffic Monday in the Bavarian Alps and Switzerland, where avalanche warnings were issued and tens of thousands of homes were without power.

Snow blocked roads in Switzerland where police said 12 people had died. Emergency services and volunteers battled through snow drifts to reach isolated villages in the northern canton of Jura.

In the Italian Alps, three people were killed, one person was missing presumed dead and another was badly injured after an avalanche near the village of Brusa in the Argentera valley Sunday afternoon, police said.

Eight people died in Britain and Ireland.

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), December 28, 1999.

Art Bell isn't the only one who is onto it, in fact he is a late comer. Greenpeace has been onto it for decades, and I started sensing that it was happening for real about 5 years ago.

The scary thing about it that I think we are going to observe is that this corrective phenomenon actually feeds upon itself, so the effects will begin accelerating at a geometrically increasing rate. Think of it as like a fire, the hotter it gets, the faster it burns, so then it begins to get even hotter, even faster, until everything is consumed.

-- Hawk (flyin@high.again), December 28, 1999.

ISSUE 1677 Tuesday 28 December 1999

Stormy prospect for Millennium By Sandra Laville

The Meteorological Office

International: 74 killed as hurricane winds hit west Europe UK Weather

A BAND of stormy weather is forecast to bring heavy rain and strong winds on Millennium eve.

Although the wet and windy weather is due to subside over the next couple of days, forecasters said it would return by Friday. A spokesman for the Meteorological Office said: "We are expecting heavy rain and strong winds - it is too early to say whether it will be as bad as Christmas."

Much of the South and South West remained on red flood alert yesterday and in Scotland and the North ice made driving treacherous. But the bad weather did not deter bargain hunters at the start of the sales.

Flooding left many families in the South homeless over Christmas and yesterday hundreds of homes were still at risk. Almost 48 hours of continuous rain left rivers in Kent and Sussex flowing dangerously fast. Red warnings were still in place on the Ouse and Cuckmere in East Sussex.

A spokesman for the Met Office warned that more stormy weather was hovering over the West Country. Snow affected the A83 at Arrochar, close to a section already blocked by a landslip, while the A82 was affected by ice at the Arden roundabout, near Loch Lomond.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), December 28, 1999.

Sounds like a three day storm.

I hope they remembered to buy a flashlight, a bottle of water, and a couple of cans of soup. But from the reports of havoc, I'd suspect they didn't.

Perhaps Koski can fax them a reminder?

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), December 28, 1999.

Here in the West of England we have just been told that it will take 6 weeks before the water levels to get back to normal assuming no more rain falls.More heavy rain is forecast for New Year's Eve.At the moment our cottage is surrounded by flooded fields & we have all the sandbags in position.

-- Chris in a wet suit now (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), December 28, 1999.

I saw the book about global storms in the book store but when I saw it was by Art Bell I didn't bother with it. Is there any real scientific info out there on this?

-- More Dinty Moore (dac@ccrtc.com), December 28, 1999.


Bell and Strieber have taken THIS theory

http://williamcalvin.com/atlantic/index.htm then added to it their interpretation of other scientific findings. From this they've spun a dramatic scenario suitable for an Art Bell type readersip.

Go to Bell's site (artbell.com) and read the links (ignoring everything else). Current climatological research corroborates what Bell is trying to sell. Don't buy his dumb book. Do the same research online. It's more than fascinating.


"Carried away, perhaps by His matchless creation, The Garden of Eden, He forgot to mention that all He was giving us was an interglacial."--- Robert Ardrey

-- (Hallyx@aol.com), December 28, 1999.

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