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STRONG THUNDERSTORM HITS MALTA – 4th October 2005

A thunderstorm hit the Maltese islands early in the morning, bringing with it torrential rainfall and severe lightning with lightning strikes hitting Mellieha and Nadur. The rains caused flooding on parts of the islands, leaving motorists stranded in their vehicles, reports Malta Media. To assist them, members of the Civil Protection Department were dispatched, as well as being on-hand to offer help with the traffic congestion caused. The timing of the storm did not help, with many caught up in the morning rush-hour when the heavy rain hit. Several valleys were also flooded during the storm.

The Civil Protection Department assisted about 50 people including a group of students in Birkirkara, who were waiting for school transport during the heavy downpour. In Siggiewi, the newly-constructed road – which formed part of the 16kilometres of roads financed by the Fifth Italian Protocol — overflowed with waste water as the water lifted all the manhole covers.

In Hamrun, the ceiling of a house collapsed but no one was injured. Strong straight-line gusts of 44.0 knots (81.4 km/h) were recorded at Luqa Airport and Rabat during the storm. Highest rainfall was 82.2 mm at Nadur, Gozo.

PHOTOS TAKEN BY JOE ZAMMIT