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Coffins drifting downstream! It’s been 11 years since THAT storm hit the Maltese Islands
25th October has gone down in history as a day that brought about some fearsome storms on the Maltese Islands.

Sarah Muscat Azzopardi

If this morning’s stormy weather looks familiar, there’s good reason – exactly 11 years ago today, on 25th October 2010, a massive thunderstorm hit the Maltese Islands, causing widespread flooding and some very memorable scenes.

On that day, high levels of rainfall caused major flooding across the islands, but mostly in the central areas of Malta, including Qormi, Birkirkara and Balzan.

The floodwaters bursting through these localities were so intense that they caused quite a bit of damage, and managed to break into one undertaker’s Qormi warehouse, carrying away empty coffins into the street, and damaging some 800 coffins in total, according to reports. It certainly made for some memorable video clips at the time!

But that’s not the first time 25th October brought the deluge…

That’s right, the storm that happened 11 years ago pales in comparison to the one that hit the islands on 25th October 1979 – one that sadly claimed the lives of four people.

Similar to the storm in 2010, low-lying areas including Marsa, Msida and Birkirkara were the most badly affected by flooding, with life rafts even brought in to rescue people who became trapped by floods at the Marsa Sports Ground.

According to news reports, the four people who lost their lives to the storm on that fateful day were Vivien Huntingford, 55, who drowned when her basement in Attard flooded; English tourist Loraine Wales, 39, who was washed away by the fierce water in Salina; Anthony Galea, 64, and John Herbert, 51, of Suffolk, whose cars were carried away by the floods.

Thankfully, the rain forecasted today should be nowhere near to these storms, but may they always serve as a reminder to respect Mother Nature and take good care in bad weather!


Sarah Muscat Azzopardi
Written by
Sarah Muscat Azzopardi
A keen traveller with an interest in most things, Sarah loves her island home as much as she loves getting away from it, and enjoys discovering and re-discovering the gems, hidden corners and unique stories of her native Malta and Gozo.

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