Severe gales that lashed northern Europe with its worst storm in four decades plunged hundreds of thousands of households into darkness as gusts of 145 kmh brought power lines down. Sweden, Denmark and the UK were worst affected, but disruption to power supplies also hit the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

At its height, the storm saw around 400 000 homes in Sweden without power and while some 200 000 remain without electricity damage to the national grid is expected to take months to fully repair. In Denmark, some 16 000 houses are still without power, while the Latvian government has declared a national energy crisis with at least 40% of the country without power at one point. In Lithuania some 40 000 people are still without power and in Estonia tens of thousands are also without heat and light. Thousands of people in Northwest Britain thousands are also still waiting to return to flooded homes that are without power.

Weather forecasters predict more heavy rain and gale force winds over the coming days.