On January 25, 1990 at least 39 people, some of them children, died in the worst weather to hit England and Wales in decades. Hurricane-force winds gusting in from the south-west brought chaos with many railway stations, roads and ports forced to close and some flights to major airports in England were diverted. The severe weather also affected other parts of Europe, killing at least 21 people in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, and caused disruption and damage in western Germany. Police in Britain described the situation as "chaotic", with cars and overturned lorries blocking motorways, buildings collapsing and power and telecommunications lines being blown down. At least half a million homes are without electricity. The storm was marginally less powerful than its better known predecessor of 1987. But no storm had caused such loss of life in the UK since the East Coast Flood disaster in 1953. The trail of destruction from the British Isales to Denmark left 100 people dead. The centre of the storm crossed the birthplace of Robbie Burns on his birthday and became known as the "Burns Day Storm".
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