Free Trial Corporate Access


Windstorm Xaver

Posting Date: 09 December 2013

Location: Europe

Peril: Windstorm


Windstorm Xaver brought strong winds and significant surge to parts of northern Europe. However, wind damage appears to have been minimal and most sea defenses have held, with coastal flooding less severe than forecast. The worst impacted country appears to be the UK, in which 1,400 of properties have been flooded in several coastal towns. Reports indicate that at least 8 people have died across Europe as a result of the storm. ***UK*** In the UK, Windstorm Xaver impacted Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England with strong winds on Thursday 5 December, uprooting trees, downing power lines and toppling lorries. Reports suggest that more than 130,000 homes were left without power across Britain, the majority of them in Scotland. On Thursday 5 December, the Environment Agency (EA) warned of the most serious coastal tidal surge for over 60 years in England and according to the EA 1,400 properties have been flooded across England and Wales. The surge resulted in record sea levels which in places were higher than those seen during the devastating floods of January 1953. One of the worst-hit areas was Rhyl, north Wales where 300 homes were flooded and people remain without power. Elsewhere, along the east coast of England, 300 homes were flooded on Boston, Lincolnshire; 400 in the Humber region; 200 in Whitby; while further flooding has been reported in Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Scarborough. In the town of Hemsby, Norfolk, several houses fell into the sea as waves eroded cliffs. On Thursday 6 December, North Sea oil and gas producers including ConocoPhillips, Maersk Oil, and Statoil cut production and evacuated staff from some platforms. In the UK, 2 people are known to have been killed as a result of Xaver. ***Germany*** Strong winds from Windstorm Xaver began impacting mainland, northern Europe on the afternoon of Thursday 5 December. Wind damage appears to have been minimal, though fallen trees were reported to have blocked railway lines in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein. Also, it has been reported that in Cuxhaven, northern Germany, a 1000-square-meter roof lifted off a building in the high winds, and damaged 40 cars. In the port city of Hamburg, the surge height reached 6.09 m (20 ft) above sea level by 06:30 on Friday 6 December - but defenses have prevented severe flooding, with part of the port and the fish market reported to have been affected. Officials have said this surge height equaled the surge height that caused massive loss of life in 1962. Elsewhere, it has been reported that the German town of Sylt has experienced its worst flood in decades after it was inundated by surge. Flooding was also reported by the German authorities on the tiny low-lying North Sea islands of Langeness and Hooge near Denmark. Xaver impacted transportation, with almost all flights canceled at Hamburg airport late on Thursday 5 December, and trains northward from Hamburg to Denmark and some other destinations also canceled. With Xaver having passed, heavy snow impacted the country exacerbating the disruption. ***Belgium*** In Belgium, a storm surge height of up to 6.44 meters was recorded and 2,000 people were preemptively evacuated from the coastal town of Bredene. However, at this time, no major damage has been reported. Officials have also stated that winds were lower than expected. ***Netherlands*** Damage reports from the Netherlands are limited, but media reports indicate that there has been coastal flooding on the island of Texel and in the city of Vlaardingen. ***Denmark*** In Demark too, the majority of the damage has been related to flooding, rather than wind. Xaver, known as Bodil in Denmark, is reported to have caused severe flooding in the town of Frederikssund, 25 miles (40 miles) northeast of Copenhagen - portions of which remain 1.5 m underwater. Transport was also affected in Denmark, where two trains derailed on the Danish island of Funen and 200 flights were canceled on Thursday 5 December and about 70 on Friday 6 December at Copenhagen airport. In Denmark, a woman died when her car overturned in the storm ***Sweden*** In Sweden, waters rose more than 1 meter (3 feet) above normal in the city of Malmo. Strong winds felled trees, and blocked roads, while heavy snow exacerbated the disruption. Tens of thousands of people lost electricity, while flights and train services were canceled across the country, and one man was killed by a falling tree. ***Austria*** In Austria, a truck driver died when the storm pushed a bus into oncoming traffic in Salzburg province, and caused a multi-vehicle crash. ***Poland*** More than 400,000 households in Poland lost power as a result of Xaver and three people were killed when a tree fell on their car in Poland's western Pomerania region. RMS is continuing to monitor Windstorm Xaver and will update this Cat Activity should significant new damage information arise.

DISCLAIMER: Copyright 2014 Risk Management Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved. This information is provided "as is," without any warranties or representations, express, implied or statutory, including without limitation, warranties of non-infringement, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.