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Published on : Thursday, December 5, 2013
The Netherlands is preparing for heavy storms, with surging tides and winds predicted to gust up to 130km/h in places in the north. Dutch national carrier KLM says it has cancelled 84 flights to and from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after forecasters sounded a ‘code orange’ extreme weather warning.
Public broadcaster NOS reported, in the south, the landmark Eastern Scheldt storm surge barrier has been closed off for the first time in six years.Inter-continental flights will go ahead as scheduled, but travellers flying KLM to European destinations are advised to check for regular updates on the airline’s website, spokesman Joost Ruempol said.
The storm will approach the Netherlands from the west and was a result of a low-pressure system over Norway, bringing extreme weather to the Dutch coast by Thursday afternoon. Coupled with a spring tide, high winds could result in a heavy storm surge and in many places; the Dutch have been taking actions including raising dykes and moving vehicles away from piers and quays.
A code orange warning is one level below a ‘code red alert’ – given out by the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) for the worst probable weather conditions.