Northwestern Europe is on high alert as Storm Ciaran threatens the region with gale-force winds and heavy rainfall. France is particularly at risk, with three departments placed on red storm alert and two regions on maximum flood alert. Rail services have been cancelled, airports closed, and ferry traffic stopped. In the UK, there are warnings of heavy rain and flooding, while Belgium and the Netherlands are also on alert. The storm’s impact could reach as far south as Spain. Scientists warn that climate change may exacerbate the intensity of storms and flooding.