Record Windstorm Ciaran Claims 10 Lives in UK and Western Europe


UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – On Thursday, Storm Ciaran unleashed unprecedented winds reaching up to 200 kilometers per hour, triggering devastating floods, power outages, and severe disruptions in Western Europe. In Tuscany, Italy, authorities reported three fatalities and declared a state of emergency in response to record-breaking rainfall.

Among the casualties in Tuscany was an 85-year-old man who tragically drowned in his own home. Tuscany’s governor, Eugenio Giani, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to declare, “What happened tonight in Tuscany has a name: climate change.” Meanwhile, Florence’s mayor, Dario Nardella, described the situation in the city as critical.

Storm Ciaran’s Impact: 10 Deaths Reported in Western Europe

The storm’s impact extended to France, where approximately 1.2 million households were plunged into darkness along the northwest coast. Even on Thursday evening, nearly 700,000 homes remained without electricity, according to Enedis, the network manager. In the western Brittany region, the wind gusts were deemed “exceptional” by France’s national weather service, Meteo-France, with numerous all-time wind-speed records shattered.

Local authorities confirmed wind gusts as high as 207 kilometers per hour (129 miles per hour) at Pointe du Raz on the northwest coast’s tip, while the port city of Brest experienced winds reaching 156 kilometers per hour.

The Elysee presidential palace announced that French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to visit the storm-ravaged Brittany region on Friday.

In the Belgian city of Ghent, a tragic incident occurred when a five-year-old child lost their life due to falling branches while playing outdoors. Additionally, in Ghent, a 64-year-old woman lost her life when a branch fell on her as she was walking with her husband and daughter in the city’s Citadel Park. Sadly, her daughter sustained serious injuries in the incident.

European Storm Ciaran Leaves Tragedy in Its Wake

In France’s Aisne region, a lorry driver tragically lost his life when falling trees struck his vehicle. Additionally, French authorities reported the unfortunate death of a man who fell from his balcony in the port city of Le Havre.

In other parts of Europe, the deadly storm claimed more lives. A man in the Dutch town of Venray, a woman in central Madrid, and another person in Germany also succumbed to the severe weather conditions.

Meteo-France, the national weather service, emphasized the extraordinary nature of the wind gusts in Brittany, citing numerous records being shattered. The prefect for the local department disclosed that gusts as high as 207 kilometers per hour were recorded at Pointe du Raz on the northwest coast’s tip, while the port city of Brest experienced winds reaching 156 kilometers per hour.

European Storm Ciaran Claims Lives and Wreaks Havoc

The disruptive impact of the storm extended to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, a major European transport hub, where over 200 flights were canceled. Across several countries, air, rail, and ferry services faced widespread cancellations and significant delays.

The storm’s impact extended as far south as Spain and Portugal, with Spanish authorities issuing warnings about towering waves reaching heights of up to nine meters (29 feet) along the Atlantic coast.

In Spain, the disruptive weather led to the cancellation of more than 80 flights at 11 different airports. Residents on the Channel Island of Jersey found themselves in need of evacuation to hotels overnight as powerful gusts, reaching up to 164 kilometers per hour, caused substantial damage to homes, as reported by local media.

Read More: Clear Channel Outdoor Announces Sale of UK and Northern Europe Operations

European Storm Ciaran: Far-Reaching Effects and Tragic Consequences

On the UK mainland, meteorologists issued two amber wind warnings, signifying the second-highest level of alert, for specific areas along the south coast of England, in addition to issuing yellow rain warnings.

In southern England, strong winds reaching speeds of 135 km/h generated massive waves, prompting the closure of hundreds of schools along the coastline.

A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport stated, “Storm Ciaran in the southeast has caused some morning delays. Safety for passengers and staff is our top priority, and we are working closely with our airline partners to minimize any inconvenience. We advise passengers to check their flight’s status with their airline before traveling.”

The Met Office issued warnings of coastal gusts ranging from 112 km/h to 128 km/h, with the potential for speeds as high as 136 km/h. People were strongly advised to avoid the water’s edge due to extremely hazardous conditions.

An amber warning was in effect for Cornwall and Devon, with the Met Office predicting that Storm Ciaran would bring winds ranging from 120 km/h to 136 km/h, along with inland gusts of 104 km/h to 120 km/

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.