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Video: Storm rips roof section from Hague football stadium; Homes evacuated near church

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Sections of the roof of the ADO Den Haag football stadium were knocked down and blown away by Storm Eunice on Friday afternoon. The storm struck the Netherlands earlier in the day. An ANP reporter witnessed dozens of meters of roof sections flying over the road. A fire brigade spokesperson told Omroep West that solar panels were also blown off the stadium.

The portion of the roof was part of the Lex Schoenmaker Familietribune, a portion of the stands at the Cars Jeans Stadion named for the hometown football player. The stadium was evacuated and the fire brigade closed the street, but firefighters could do little but stand and watch as the storm wreaked havoc at the stadium. The winds were initially too strong for firefighters to approach the area.

Gusts of wind peaked at 129 km/h inland from The Hague, and 141 km/h near the city’s coastal area. The city is part of the Zuid-Holland province, one of five for which a Code Red weather alert was in place.

A recent inspection of the stadium determined it was structurally sound, and capable of withstanding heavy winds. The fire service said there was a great deal of damage to the stadium, and handed authority over the situation back to the municipality and the football club by about 5:15 p.m., Omroep West reported.

All Friday night football matches at the professional and amateur level were cancelled by the KNVB. ADO was supposed to play an away match against FC Eindhoven planned, but an outbreak of coronavirus infections at the home team postponed the match before the storm hit.

ADO’s next home match is currently scheduled for next Friday. “We first want to survive the coming hours, then we will see how this could have happened,” a team spokesperson told Omroep West. The damage will be assessed on Saturday morning. “It’s too early to say” if next week’s match against Telstar can continue.

Homes near Elandkerk evacuated due to unstable church tower

The police also evacuated homes in the vicinity of the Elandkerk in The Hague on Friday afternoon. One of the large church’s towers appeared to be unstable, rocking back and forth, police said.

The church is opposite the Elandplein in the Zeeheldenkwartier. The area around the church and a stretch of road was cordoned off by the police and fire brigade.

The church has two spires, one of the two was swaying due to the strong winds from Storm Eunice. The tower was thought to be unstable, but that turned out not to be the case after inspection “inside and outside the church”, a spokesperson for the Haaglanden security region said.

Experts “determined that this poses no further danger, despite the tower moving back and forth,” the spokesperson said. Dozens of homes were evacuated, but a precise number was not available. Residents were received in another nearby church and were told they could return home.

Earlier, The spokesperson confirmed that “a beam from the church has blown loose and ended up on a car.” The wooden beam was part of a church window. The security office said that an inspection would include representatives of the municipality and the church to jointly assess to what extent the swaying movement was abnormal, and if it posed a threat to area residents.



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