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Train derails, roads flood as heavy rains hit Sweden, Norway

Heavy rainfall has drenched southern Scandinavia, causing a train to derail and roads to flood.

On Monday, officials in Sweden and Norway warned that the situation could become the most extreme wet weather system to hit the region in decades.

Reuters reports Swedish and Norwegian meteorologists as issuing red alerts, the most severe warning level, covering several days this week, saying the hardest hit places could receive a month or more worth of normal rainfall in 24 hours and the worst floods in 25 years in Norway, or even 50 years for Sweden.

A train carrying more than 100 passengers derailed in eastern Sweden as the rain partly washed away the railway embankment, injuring three people who were taken to hospital, police said.

Gale force winds and thunderstorms knocked out local power lines and disrupted several Baltic and North Sea ferries as well as some air traffic, while Norway suspended certain train services and postponed a number of outdoor football matches.

Hitting Sweden late on Sunday and reaching Norway on Monday, the low pressure system was dubbed “Hans” by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, which said naming the weather system makes it easier to get the public’s attention.

Authorities warned those most affected to stay away from rivers and steep slopes and only travel when strictly necessary. They said there was a high risk of widespread property damage as the downpour was set to continue in the coming days.