Fierce winds blew this lorry’s tarpaulin off on the motorway in Germany

Reports say 8 people including two firefighters have been killed in storm-related accidents as hurricane-strength winds tear across northern Europe.

Both firefighters were helping with clean-up efforts in Germany when they died.

Many of those killed, in the Netherlands and in Germany, were hit by falling trees and debris. One died in a collision when his van was blown on to the other side of the road.

The storm has now crossed to Poland.

Facing gusts of up to 140km/h (90mph), Germany’s train operator Deutsche Bahn cancelled all long-distance services for the rest of Thursday.

Many regional services were also cancelled.

Flights at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam – one of the busiest in Europe – were briefly suspended and two of its three departure halls were closed after roof plates were blown off the terminal building.

People arriving at Schiphol told reporters they had experienced rough landings with some passengers around them throwing up.

These cyclists in Rotterdam gave up trying to pedal through the storm

The storm, called Friederike in Germany, crossed the country from west to east before reaching Poland.

It caused high winds in the UK on Wednesday night and Thursday morning, bringing down trees and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes.

Meteorologists in Germany – where 65,000 homes are reportedly without power – warned people to stay indoors, and many schools are closed.

Deutsche Bahn had already suspended rail traffic in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state and Lower Saxony, when it announced a Germany-wide suspension of long-distance trains.

Any regional trains still running have cut their speed because of the strong winds.

Many domestic flights have also been cancelled.

-BBC