Storm Ciarán: One dead and several injured in Belgium

One person was killed and several were seriously injured in Belgium on Thursday as a result of storm Ciarán. The storm also caused damage and traffic disruption across the country.

One person died in Ghent after a tree fell on two people walking in Citadel Park, police confirmed on Thursday. The second person hit by the tree suffered a fractured leg. The park could not be closed to the public because of its many entrances, police said. They urged people to avoid parks and cemeteries.

The storm also caused several severe injuries on Thursday. In the Antwerp district of Deurne, a man was seriously injured when a retaining wall collapsed due to strong winds. In the Brussels municipality of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, a man was taken to hospital in a critical condition after being swept into the Brussels-Charleroi canal.

Fire brigades are responding to hundreds of calls for storm damage, many of which involve uprooted trees and fallen branches. In the town of Lier, the roof of a commercial building was ripped off by strong winds.

The storm also caused serious disruptions to rail, road, water and air transport. The Flemish traffic centre has received dozens of reports of fallen branches or trees on motorways and urged drivers to adapt their driving style to the strong gusts of wind.

Almost all rush-hour trains and several intercity services have been cancelled, and other high-speed trains are running at reduced speeds. Throughout the day, train services were disrupted in several places due to fallen trees on the tracks or overhead power lines.

In the port of Zeebrugge, shipping has come to a complete standstill. Navigation in the Scheldt area has been suspended until 23.00 unless the weather improves.

At Brussels airport, flights are delayed as only one runway is in use. Several parks and nature reserves have been closed to the public as a precaution.



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