Mary Anna (6
prompt Dutch evacuations"
Dutch villagers have been asked to leave their homes and farms
because strong winds and heavy rain have led to fears of coastal
Some farmers in Tolbert in the northern province of Groningen
refused to leave their cattle, despite reports that an inland
dyke was at risk of breaking.
There are flood warnings for the Dutch west coast. Gales have
also battered the UK, Belgium, France and Germany.
Winds of up to 178kmh (111mph) were recorded in northern
In Germany, winds of 133kmh were recorded as high water levels
on the River Rhine raised concern in Cologne and weather
forecasters warned of heavy snow over higher ground.
The Oeresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark was closed for
part of Thursday morning.
In Belgium, forecasters issued a code orange alert for the whole
country, indicating the risk of severe weather and damage.
Northern provinces in The Netherlands have had a month's average
rainfall in recent days and the strong winds have hampered
attempts to drain areas of reclaimed land.
Water companies say they have pumped millions of gallons into
Eleven ships were prevented from docking at the Rotterdam
container terminal because of high water levels
In England, the QEII bridge linking Essex and Kent had to be
closed and dozens of trees blocked roads in Suffolk.
High winds were also recorded in northern France, bringing down
power lines and leaving thousands of people without electricity.
French forecasters warned of a violent winter storm as far south
as Corsica, in the Mediterranean.