Denmark, southern Sweden and the British Isles bore the brunt of it.

In north-western England, the centre of the city of Carlisle was largely under water.

Four people were killed in Denmark – two when trees crashed onto their cars, and two when a roof blew off a building.

In southern Sweden, three motorists were killed -two when trees fell on their cars, another when a car hit him as he tried to remove a fallen tree from a road.

Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport closed for several hours, as did the Malmoe Sturup airport in southern Sweden, as hurricane force winds of up to 150 kilometers an hour lashed the region.

A Dutch freighter battling heavy seas off Denmark’s west coast called for assistance after reporting a fire on board.

The 15 crew abandoned ship and were in a lifeboat at 10:00 pm (2100 GMT) waiting to be picked up by rescue ships.

In southern Sweden, around 280,000 households were without electricity, while rail services were suspended and traffic on the Oeresund bridge linking Copenhagen to southern Sweden was stopped.

In Germany’s northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, most main roads were blocked.

Fire fighters dealt with 300 emergencies within a few hours, 250 alone in the state capital Kiel, mainly after trees were unrooted and billboards blown away.

In Ireland, more than 50,000 people were without electricity – around 20,000 in the Republic of Ireland and 30,000 in the North.

In Scotland, 43 passengers and 57 crew were spending the night on board a P and O ferry, which ran aground at Cairnryan, Loch Ryan.

No one was injured, but heavy seas meant tugs would not be able to get close to the European Highlander vessel to pull it free from the shingle beach until Sunday morning.

Around the British Isles, trucks were blown over, river banks burst, residents were evacuated from flooded houses and uprooted trees blocked dozens of roads as gales reached 140 kilometres an hour.

The Royal Air Force was preparing for a possible helicopter evacuations.

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