A severe storm and strong winds led the Dutch Port of Rotterdam to close its terminals today, but weather conditions are now said to have returned to normal.
Three people were reportedly killed in the Netherlands and one person in Belgium due to falling trees or debris caused by gusts of around 90mph (140km/h), which affected much of northwestern Europe.
The winds were strong enough to topple some stacked containers in the port (see video below), although Fresh Fruit Portal has been told by a port representative that these were empty at the time.
Port of Rotterdam Authority press officer Tie Schellekens said the storm had lasted from around 09.00 until 13.00 on Thursday, but by the late afternoon conditions were much calmer.
“There was a storm that affected the port today, and that meant we could not permit the entry of ships,” he said, adding the vessels had to drop anchor and wait outside the port.
“It’s still closed for container vessels, but that is ordinary when there is a storm. Conditions are now quite normal, and I think that in the early evening the terminals should reopen.”
Schellekens explained there had not been a “huge problem” with logistics. He said a few containers had gone into the water but these were from a depot of empty containers.
The Belgian port of Ghent was also closed by authorities due to high winds, The Guardian reported. The publication also said the U.K. and Germany had been hit by strong winds.