10 die as gale lashes N. Europe
Kyrill also pounds British Isles,
strands air, rail passengers, ship crew.
By Mark Landler, The New York Times
Article Launched: 01/18/2007 10:02:15 PM PST
FRANKFURT, Germany - A howling gale churned through
the British Isles and Northern Europe on Thursday,
killing at least 10 people, uprooting trees,
shattering windows, flooding beaches and forcing
the cancellation of hundreds of flights at airports
from London to Frankfurt.
The storm, called Kyrill by German meteorologists,
generated gale-force winds and pelting rain in
Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The fierce weather hampered efforts to rescue 26 sailors
from a container ship they abandoned Thursday after it
began listing in the English Channel. In a dramatic
rescue, Royal Navy helicopters winched the crew to
safety by a helicopter, but the fate of the ship
It also prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
to cut short a visit to Berlin, where she conferred
with Chancellor Angela Merkel about the Middle East.
Rice left an hour early for London to beat the weather;
landing there amid winds gusting to 80 miles an hour.
"This is the worst storm since 2002," said Burkhard Kirsch,
a meteorologist at the German Weather Service, noting
a 123 mph gust had been recorded in central Germany's mountains.
The storm's name, Kyrill, stems from a German practice
of naming weather systems. Anyone can name one, for a fee.
Naming a high-pressure system costs $385, while low-pressure
systems, which are more common, go for $256.
Three siblings paid to name this system as a 65th birthday
gift for their father, not knowing that it would grow into
a fierce storm.
In Britain, three motorists were killed in storm-related
accidents, Reuters reported, while a woman died when a
wall collapsed on her in heavy winds. Two people were
killed in the Netherlands after an uprooted tree crushed
their car, the Dutch news agency ANP reported.
In Germany, two people, one of them 18 months old,
were killed by flying debris. At nightfall, with the storm
bearing down on Germany, the national railway suspended
long-distance train service, stranding thousands.