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No stranger to a storm! The most epic Malta storm damage photos over the years
300 days of sunshine, but when Malta's weather can get really scary!

Melanie Drury

You'll find "300 days of sunshine" printed on every brochure or billboard advertising Malta as the ultimate destination. What they don't tell you is that when the weather's bad, it's horrid. See for yourself in this live footage of Malta's worst storm scenarios over the years.

The latest weather to cause havoc locally is the massive storm of February 2019, which uprooted trees, smashed boats and washed fish ashore like the island was being featured in some Biblical story. There were 486 calls to the civil protection services for help and 111 traffic incidents related to the gale force winds that hit Malta. The winds ravaged Malta at 89 to 102 km/h, about force 10 on the Beaufort scale, or 'storm' category, but the gusts reached force 12, at a speed of 133km/h, or 'hurricane' speed. The storm damage cost 8.6 million euros in insurance claims and 25 million euro in country-wide damages. 

So what happens in Malta as the wind blows furiously and the seas rush onto the streets? Well, the entire contents of a seaside restaurant might end up washed onto the road, for example. 

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Not to speak of the debris that washes ashore from the sea. Don't you wonder where it came from?

And when you see something like this, aren't you glad you weren't walking on the kerb when these waves crashed over?

Moral of the story: do think twice before getting comfortable to watch the stormy waves.

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Out at sea, things also don't look good: boats get loose from their rigging and end up smashed ashore or sinking underwater.

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Yet, if you are a boat owner in Malta, don't be fooled that your boat is safe on dry land either. This accident happened in a boat yard!

But who is there to blame? I mean, if the winds can uproot trees... and we're not talking of puny trees, as you can see.

Then what to speak of farmers' crops? It is sad indeed when their livelihood is literally blown away.

That's all shocking enough! But, what about when rainwater floods your property? For residents of Birkirkara, Msida, Marsa and Qormi, for example, the possibility is very real during every storm.

Indeed, storm damage in Malta is not all that unusual. Each year, the Mediterranean island has its fair share of storms, where hail dents cars, wind breaks trees, rainwater floods homes and cars are swept away by running water in the streets. Perhaps locals sort of got used to it and don't make a fuss about it, unless the island experiences one hell of a storm that goes down in history, like the one in February 2019 and a few others. 

The 2019 storm was described as the worst to hit Malta since October 1982, when 4 died and 19 were left injured as roofs caved in and cars were swept away. Dozens of others experienced a lucky escape. Just like in 2019, the winds ravaged Malta at 89 to 133 km/h, or force 10 to 12. October 1979 was another stormy occasion that left three people dead while others were reported to have been injured in near misses. Cars were swept away by currents at Birkirkara, Msida, Marsa and other low-lying areas after 68.2 mm of rain had fallen in the span of a few hours.

Nostalgia Malta

Posted by Tony Buttigieg on Facebook/Nostalgia Malta 

1979

Posted by Tony Buttigieg on Facebook/Nostalgia Malta

Now, are you looking forward to winter and stormy weather?

10th October 2019


Melanie Drury
Written by
Melanie Drury
Melanie was born and raised in Malta and has spent a large chunk of her life travelling solo around the world. Back on the island with a new outlook, she realised just how much wealth her little island home possesses.

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