In pictures: Storm Ciara batters north-western Europe

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A powerful storm is battering parts of north-west Europe with heavy rainfall and strong winds of up to 150km/h (93mph).

Storm Ciara - known as Sabine in Germany and Switzerland and Elsa in Norway - has caused hundreds of flights to be grounded and rail services cancelled in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.

Access to exposed areas such as parks and coastlines has been restricted and motorists have been warned to take care as the weather continues to cause severe travel disruption.

media captionStorm Ciara: Planes struggle to land

On Monday, large parts of northern France were placed on an orange weather alert - the second highest warning - with thousands of homes in Brittany left without power.

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image captionThe storm's powerful winds forced high waves to crash against a jetty in Brittany, France
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image captionPeople headed to the beach at Scheveningen in the Netherlands to witness the impact of the storm
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image captionA man stands on the edge of a seawall and leans into the wind in Harlingen in the Netherlands
image copyrightEPA
image captionFirefighters assess the damage after a tree fell into a house and crushed a car in Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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image captionA kite surfer takes advantage of the harsh conditions on the River Weser in Bremerhaven, northern Germany
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image captionStrong winds that ripped through the Belgian capital Brussels caused part of a residential building to partially collapse
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image captionThe debris that fell from the building in Brussels landed on a road, which was then closed off by police
image copyrightEPA
image captionPassengers look at display boards and try to get information about train delays from German rail staff at Cologne central station on Sunday
image copyrightPA Media
image captionPart of a guest house in Hawick, Scotland, collapsed into the fast-flowing River Teviot
image copyrightPA Media
image captionWaves crash into the wall at Porthleven in Cornwall, UK

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media captionResidents near Ramsbottom have been stranded by the high waters.

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