On Tuesday, Norwegian authorities warned to prepare for “very heavy rain” after storm Hans killed two people, ripped off roofs and upended summer life in northern Europe.
Strong winds continued to batter the region as it rained, causing a long list of disturbances in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Finland, Estonia and Latvia. Ferries were cancelled, flights delayed, roads and streets flooded, trees uprooted and people injured in fallen branches, and thousands were left without power on Tuesday.
In Oslo, officials urged people to work from home. The Norwegian Directorate for Water Resources and Energy warned on its website of “very heavy rain” in the south of the country, adding that “unnecessary traffic should be avoided”.
“This is a very dangerous situation that could lead to significant consequences and losses. There will be widespread flooding, erosion damage and flood damage to buildings and infrastructure,” it said in English on its website.
In Finland, the authorities have urged people to rethink whether it is “necessary to go out” to the sea, the Hufvudstadsbladet newspaper quoted Phil Hokka, spokesman for the coast guard district of the Gulf of Finland, as saying.
On Tuesday, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, SMHI, issued a red alert for parts of central Sweden, stating that “very large amounts of rain are causing extremely high flows in streams and ditches in several places.”
Floods and landslides closed dozens of roads in southern Norway and neighboring Sweden, and scores were evacuated. Norwegian police said at least 119 people had been evacuated by Tuesday noon. There were isolated reports of helicopters being used to transport people from affected areas.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s Meteorological Institute reported waves of up to 8 meters (26 feet) and beach houses were seen drifting in the North Sea.
On Monday, a 50-year-old woman in Lithuania was killed by falling trees near the border with Latvia. In central Sweden, a train is partially derailed by the dam below the tracks being washed away. Three people were slightly injured.
Also in Latvia, on Monday, a second person died on Monday in Latvia, near the Belarusian border, when a tree fell on him, according to what Latvian TV reported, adding that he died of his injuries. The man’s identity has not been identified.
In Estonia, nearly 10,000 people were without power Tuesday morning, according to the Baltic News Service, the main news agency in the region.
Norwegian authorities have kept the maximum weather alert at its highest levels in southern Norway due to heavy rains, mudslides and flash floods. They also sent text messages in several foreign languages, including English, to vacationers to warn them of bad weather.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr called it a “very dangerous situation,” he said late Monday. “We see floods and destruction. There is reason to expect that this will continue for another day,” he said.
Meteorologists in Norway said rain can be expected in the south of the country until Wednesday.
“There are plans to block roads and lose electricity, telephone and internet in parts of the county for periods,” Norwegian police said in a statement.
In the Swedish town of Ar, a ski resort, roads and streets were flooded. The Sosapac River that runs through the Aare, about 533 kilometers (331 mi) from Stockholm, has passed its banks and flooded most of the city centre.
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