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STORM FORCE 11 WINDS – 1st February 2006

It was extremely windy from late 31st January till early 1st February as a low pressure system moving slowing to our east intensified suddenly to 993hPa, causing very strong northeasterly winds over the Maltese Islands. Highest gusts were 81.4km/h at the Airport, 70.3km/h at Rabat, 75.9km/h at Msida, 82.0km/h at Nadur, and at Mellieha an extremely high gust of 109.2km/h (Force 11)! Winds were averaging Force 9 gusting Force 11 over exposed areas of the Maltese Islands.

It was inevitable that such strong winds would cause damage in several areas. Civil Protection Department chief Peter Cordina said that the department had received reports of uprooted trees, electricity cables and poles, collapsed stone rubble walls and twisted television aerials. A car suffered extensive damage when a tree fell onto it, although no one was injured, and part of the wall in the Regional Road tunnel in the direction of Swieqi was also damaged.

PHOTOS TAKEN BY TIMMY GAMBIN AND IVAN BARTOLO