A luxury cruise liner that left Malta last Friday sustained damage to its bow when a force 7 storm hit Palermo yesterday.

No Maltese passengers were on board the Costa Concordia, although foreign nationals on board were shaken as attempts to manoeuvre the ship within the port led to it being rammed against the dock. Nobody was injured and repairs started soon after.

The storm brought the port of Palermo to a standstill with several vessels unable to continue their journey.

One ship that attempted to brave the storm and left the port of Palermo in the evening was forced to turn back at 4.30 a.m. yesterday. The Excellent, carrying 113 passengers and 67 crew members on board, faced waves 10 metres high and winds that smashed some of the windows on the vessel.

At least three other ships remained stranded at the port of Palermo waiting for calmer seas. The Costa Concordia was expected to leave port yesterday evening.

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