Bad weather lashes Malta

Severe weather battered Malta this weekend as rain and strong winds whipped across this Mediterranean island, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The bad weather started on Saturday afternoon with a hailstorm hitting most of the tiny island.

Record wind speeds of up to 101 km per hour were registered, uprooting trees, demolishing walls and damaging power lines. No injuries were reported, but the damage to property was estimated in the millions.

Farmers suffered a huge level of damage because their crops and structures were ruined by the strong winds. The losses amount to tens of thousands of euros each.

A number of flights had to be cancelled and all bus services to the coastal towns of Sliema and St. Julian’s were suspended for most of Sunday.

The Maltese government is exploring the possibility of using the European Solidarity Fund to pay for damages caused by the storm.

Elsewhere, Greece is in the grip of a bout of cold weather, which has reached the region from northern Europe. Since Friday, temperatures have plummeted across the country, with the lowest recording being -6oC at Florina, a town in northern Greece. There has also been snowfall and travel disruption in the north of the country.