Storm Babet wreaks havoc across Northern Europe, with gale-force winds and heavy rain affecting Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, and the UK.
Communities across the north of Europe, around the North Sea, are feeling the full effects of autumn storm Babet.
Authorities say severe weather conditions, characterised by heavy rain and gale-force winds from the east, pose a significant threat to communities and infrastructure in several countries.
The gale-force winds have struck hardest in the eastern part of Denmark's Jutland peninsula, including the Danish islands in the Baltic Sea. However, the British Isles, southern Sweden, northern Germany, and parts of Norway are also enduring the impact of this formidable storm, named Babet by the UK's Met Office.
Scandinavia sees high water levels
In southern Denmark, low-lying areas are submerged, and fallen trees have littered the landscape. The Danish Meteorological Institute's "very dangerous weather" warning predicts that water levels will rise, with some inland Danish areas expected to see river surges up to 240cm above normal.
“The large amount of water is now on its way back through the Danish belts, which, however, act as bottlenecks, where the water has difficulty moving through and thus piles up south of here.” The DMI stated on the front page of its website.
“The strong easterly wind also contributes to the elevated water level and worsens the situation so that the water level becomes even higher.”
Sweden is also grappling with the risk of extensive flooding along its southern coast, potentially causing limited access to roads and railways. However, the situation is expected to improve on Saturday morning as water levels recede.
Norway has not been spared, with a bridge near its second-largest city closed and widespread cancellations in ferry and air travel, leading to delays and disruptions.
First death in UK as much of the country elevates to amber warning
In the United Kingdom, a rare red weather alert, signifying the highest level of warning, was issued for parts of Scotland. Authorities predicted "exceptional rainfall" in the following days, resulting in extensive flooding and a significant risk to life due to fast-flowing or deep floodwater.
This marks the first red alert in the UK since 2020. The affected regions in Scotland have already experienced evacuations, school closures, and widespread disruption.
Storm Babet has already claimed its first fatality as a woman was swept into a river in Scotland amid gale-force winds and flooding. Amber warnings for wind and rain have been issued for parts of northern England, the Midlands, and northern Wales. Northern Ireland is also under a yellow warning.
The Environment Agency's Flood line service has issued multiple flood warnings and alerts in England, particularly in areas around Bristol, the Midlands, and Yorkshire, with additional warnings along the east coast. Northern Ireland is under a yellow rain warning, and Scotland faces amber and yellow warnings for rain and wind.
Major roads, including sections of the A9 and A90, have been closed due to flooding, and train services in affected areas have been suspended. Ferry services to various islands and regional air flights are also cancelled.
The Met Office's weather warnings now encompass nearly all of the UK's eastern seaboard, with rain and wind warnings extending from Essex to Berwick and northwards into Scotland.
As Storm Babet continues its destructive path across northern Europe, authorities are tirelessly working to safeguard lives and mitigate the extensive damage caused by the extreme weather.