Forty years to the day since a storm pushed a tanker aground in Marsascala, breaking it in two, strong south easterly winds lashed Malta today, although the consequences were far less dramatic.

The Greek tanker Angel Gabriel lost power off Marsascala on September 23, 1969 and was grounded on a reef, where it broke its back. The crew made it to shore with difficulty except one, who jumped from the ship in a panic and died.

Today's wind whipped up rough seas in Birzebbuga and, to a lesser extent, Marsaxlokk. Two cabin cruisers broke their moorings in Birzebbuga. One ended up on the rocks and the other on the sandy beach. A smaller boat was smashed by the waves and quite a number of boats were quickly hauled ashore by their owners.

In Mellieha a car was damaged when a tree fell on top of it.

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