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Storm Miguel: Brussels parks closed, Cinquantenaire market cancelled
All of Brussels' parks, woods and cemeteries are closed until Sunday morning, as Storm Miguel crosses Belgium, bringing strong winds.
Winds gusting up to 90kph are forecast on Friday evening and on Saturday, the Royal Meteorological Institute said.
The first Roller Bike Parade of the season on Friday night was called off, and a medieval market planned for Cinquantenaire park this weekend has also had to be cancelled.
"We found out after 10 hours assembling our stand," one of the market's exhibitors said. Some of the traders had travelled from France and Germany with fresh food, to find out that the event could not go ahead.
Etterbeek town council said it was a case of force majeure. "We cannot take any risks with the safety of visitors of exhibitors," a town hall spokesman said.
Brussels Environment said the region's green spaces would gradually reopen on Sunday morning, after safety checks.
"The danger is real," a spokeswoman said. "In the last big storms in March we had 100 fallen trees - that is why we have decided to take no risk and close our parks.
"The winds are violent. As it has rained recently, the soil is full of water, which weakens the tree's roots."
The phone number for reporting non-urgent damage caused by storms, 1722, has been activated.
Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga