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Hurricane Irene disrupts Swiss flights

Sixteen Swiss International Air Lines flights to the east coast of the United States were cancelled at the weekend as a result of Hurricane Irene.

A Swiss spokeswoman said two flights to and from Zurich and one to and from Geneva were cancelled on Saturday, and five round-trips were grounded on Sunday. An additional ten flights from US airlines were cancelled to Zurich.

On Sunday Irene weakened to a tropical storm but the huge weather system remained dangerous as it raced across a shuttered New York City, leaving behind a stunned US east coast where at least 14 people died, severe flooding was widespread and four million homes and businesses lost power.

Further north in New England, residents were bracing for flooding and winds that could topple many towering trees that sat in soil already saturated by earlier heavy rain. The storm was expected to move over eastern Canada by Sunday night.

Irene’s winds weakened to 104 kph after its long journey up the East Coast, where it dropped 30 centimetres of rain on North Carolina and Virginia. The National Hurricane Center downgraded the storm after its winds fell below 119 kph, the threshold for a hurricane.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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