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Fatalities as severe storms hit Britain, France and Netherlands

Ferocious storms have hit southern Britain and parts of France and the Netherlands, cutting power lines and disrupting travel. Forecasters in Britain say it is one of the worst storms to have hit the country in years.

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Storm batters Britain

At least two people were killed in Britain and one in the Netherlands, and thousands of homes and businesses across the region were without power after strong storms raged overnight into Monday.

A 17-year-old girl was fatally injured early on Monday morning when a tree fell on the parked caravan in which she was sleeping in the town of Edenbridge in the county of Kent.

A man in his fifties in Watford died when his car was crushed, also by a falling tree.

A 14-year-old boy is feared to have died after being swept out to sea on the coast of the county of East Sussex on Sunday. Police said rescuers had been forced to call off a search for him late on Sunday due to large waves.

A woman in Amsterdam also died after being struck by a falling tree while walking along a canal.

Travel delays

London's Heathrow Airport has been forced to cancel some 130 flights, and express train services between central London and two of its airports, Gatwick and Stansted, were suspended because of the storm.

The English port of Dover was also closed, cutting off ferry services to continental Europe.

There were also delays on many parts of London's Underground rail network.

Across the Channel in France, the storm felled power lines, cutting off the electricity supply to around 65,000 homes across the west and north of the country.

Winds in France were reported to have reached up to 139 kilometers per hour (86 miles per hour , while British officials reported gusts of up 160 kilometers per hour (99 mph) on the Isle of Wight.

tj/ipj (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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