Severe train disruptions in Germany after deadly storm

BERLIN: Thousands of commuters were hit Friday by train cancellations in northern and eastern Germany after a powerful storm that killed seven motorists.

Storm Xavier slammed into the country late afternoon on Thursday, uprooting trees and flinging signs and billboards to the ground with winds that reached 130 km per hour.

"Most of the train tracks in the north and east of Germany are still unusable," said a spokesman for the rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Friday.

Trains linking Hamburg, Hanover and Berlin have been cancelled, as all three cities were severely hit by the storm.

Hundreds of passengers spent the night in the stations, some finding a spot on trains turned into temporary accommodations by Deutsche Bahn.

In the German capital, regional trains were running only partial services as emergency crew were still struggling to remove fallen trees from the tracks.

"The clearing work could last all day," said a spokesman for Berlin's rail service.

The capital's firefighter service said the emergency situation continues, as it called on volunteers to return to help out from 8am (0600 GMT).

Seven people died on Thursday after their vehicles were hit by falling trees. — AFP