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The Burns' Day Storm occurred on 25–26 January, 1990, over north-western Europe, and is one of the strongest storms on record. This storm has received different names as there is no official list of such events in Europe. It is also known as Daria. Starting on the birthday of Scottish poet Robert Burns, it caused widespread damage and hurricane-force winds over a wide area. The storm was responsible for 97 deaths (according to the Met Office), although figures have ranged from 89 to over 100.

The storm began as a cold front over the Northern Atlantic Ocean on 23 January. By the 24th, it had a minimum central pressure of 992 mbar. It made landfall on the morning of the 25th over Ireland, where 17 died, including 8 on a bus which was struck by a falling tree. It then tracked over to Ayrshire in Scotland. The lowest pressure of 949 mbar (in line with a strong Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale) was recorded near Edinburgh around 16:00. After hitting the United Kingdom, the storm tracked rapidly east towards Denmark, causing major damage and 30 deaths in the Netherlands and Belgium. The strongest sustained winds recorded were between 70 and 75 mph (110–120 km/h), comparable to a weak Category 1 hurricane. Strong gusts of up to 104 mph (170 km/h; strong Category 2) were reported, and it was these which caused the most extensive damage.

ImpactEdit

Casualties were much higher than those of the Great Storm of 1987, because the storm hit during the daytime. The storm caused extensive damage, with approximately 3 million trees downed, power disrupted to over 500,000 homes and severe flooding in England and West Germany. The storm cost insurers in the UK £3.37 bn, the UK's most expensive weather event to insurers. Most of the deaths were caused by collapsing buildings or falling debris. In one case in Sussex, a class of children was evacuated just minutes before the whole building came down. The 'Allo 'Allo! actor Gorden Kaye received severe head injuries when part of a billboard blew through the windscreen of the car he was driving, delaying both the 1990 tour of Australia (in which he and the cast of the show were to perform) and also the start of the show's 7th series. He made a slow recovery before returning to work less than 6 months later, and has had a visible dent in his forehead ever since

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