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Three injured after train derails in Sweden as storms cause havoc across northern Europe

This photo taken on August 7, 2023 shows a derailed passenger train between Iggesund and Hudiksvall in Sweden.
This photo taken on August 7, 2023 shows a derailed passenger train between Iggesund and Hudiksvall in Sweden. Copyright Mats ANDERSSON / AFP
Copyright Mats ANDERSSON / AFP
By Euronews with AFP
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Heavy rain saw Sweden's Susaback River burst its banks on Tuesday, leading to severe flooding that weather agencies expect to continue.

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Three people were taken to hospital after a train derailed in eastern Sweden when a railway embankment collapsed following heavy rains, police said, as weather agencies warned of more flooding.

The passenger train, which was carrying some 120 people, was headed to the city of Sundsvall when two of its four cars derailed near the city of Hudiksvall shortly after 12:30 local time.

After police and rescue services arrived at the scene it was "determined that the railway embankment had been undermined by the heavy rain and collapsed."

"Currently, three people have been taken to hospital, the extent of their injuries is unclear," police said in a statement.

Sweden's national weather agency SMHI had issued several "yellow alerts" for Monday, warning of strong winds, floods and heavy rains in multiple parts of the country as extreme weather "Hans" moved in across the country over the weekend.

The agency's alerts go from "yellow" through "orange" to "red," and SMHI had also issued red alerts - signalling "very serious consequences for society" - for flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A similar warning was issued by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute on Monday, which especially warned of "extremely heavy rainfall" in the country's southern parts.

"In many places, the event will be among the strongest in the last 25 years," the weather agency said.

Norway is also on high alert

Elsewhere, in neighbouring Norway, a red warning of extremely heavy rain has been sent out for parts of southern Norway as the low-pressure system known as “Storm Hans” hits full force.

In several places in the country, flooding has led to road closures and flight cancellations.

In the Gran municipality, residents have been evacuated. 

In Hemsedal, the flow of the waterfall Rjukandefossen is even higher and the municipality is afraid of landslides.

"We pay particular attention to areas in villages that are prone to landslides. We are following along, difficult to protect against, but at least they are now on the alert here," says Pål Terje Rørby the Mayor of Hemsedal.

Latvia battling severe storms

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Baltic Sea, Latvia continues to endure heavy weather conditions.

A violent storm is causing major damage to crops and houses, like in the small town of Dobele, some 80 kilometres from Riga, with trees falling on highways and roofs torn off.

Riga has implemented a red weather warning for parts of the country yet to feel the strength of its blast.

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