GALE FORCE WINDS CAUSE SLIGHT DAMAGE – 18th February 2011
A deep low pressure system of 988hPa passed to the north of the Maltese Islands (see chart to the right) bringing a day of rain and gale force winds which caused havoc and slight damage. This low pressure system had formed over the Atlantic Ocean many days before crossing over into the Mediterranean Sea with hurricane force winds over northern Spain while doing so.
Damage was slight with mainly just small tree branches getting torn loose but an electricity pole in the road leading from the Excelsior to the Phoenicia in Floriana fell victim to strong winds and collapsed on a car. A number of people in cars were also stuck in water catchment areas, particularly Msida and Birkirkara.
During a court sitting in Gozo in the morning, a window broke inside a court room, causing slight alarm amongst those present. No one was injured. A tree in Victoria and a number of other trees also fell victims to the wind and a woman was slightly injured in Rabat when a tree collapsed onto her car. Two flights, Ryanair’s from Dublin and EasyJet’s from Gatwick, had to be diverted because of the strong winds.
Maximum wind gusts were: Mellieha 105km/h, Attard 98km/h, Nadur 92km/h, Rabat 90km/h, Naxxar 90km/h, Benghajsa 90km/h, Msida 87km/h, Mgarr 85km/h, Tarxien 83km/h, Qormi 82km/h, Zejtun 79km/h, Iklin 77km/h.
PHOTOS TAKEN BY AUDREY BARTOLO, MARK ZAMMIT CORDINA, ROBERT PULLICINO & IVAN VELLA