A strong North-Easterly wind lashed Malta overnight, leaving a trail of demolished walls, uprooted trees and broken branches as well as damaged boats. The foundations of the road at Rinella Bay were also damaged and Kalkara council warned motorists to avoid the area.

The strong winds, gusting to Force eight, brought down a house on the outskirts of Xaghra, Gozo and boundary walls in Paceville, the Mellieha bypass, St Louis Street, Msida, and the road from Victoria to Nadur in Gozo. The stones damaged some cars in Paceville but no one appears to have been injured.

A number of roads were temporarily blocked when large branches fell across them, including sections of the Birkirkara Bypass, Aldo Moro Road in Marsa and Censu Busuttil in Iklin. Rescuers cleared the branches using electric saws.

Several advertising billboards were toppled over and stone balconies collapsed in Testaferrata Street, Gzira and in Rabat. An electricity pole came down in Mgarr, brining down some cables.

Ticketing kiosks at The Strand, Gzira and a telephone box in Xemxija were also brought down 

In Gzira, a number of moored boats were damaged when they drifted onto the shore.

A number of night flights to Malta were diverted to Catania while the Gozo ferry service was interrupted up to just before 10 a.m.

ROAD DAMAGED AT RINELLA BAY

Kalkara Council said strong waves had damaged a supporting wall beneath the road at Rinella Bay and it advised motorists to avoid the area because of the danger of collapse.

It also said that the council office will remain open till 6 p.m. to assist residents.

Mayor Michael Cohen said that last October he had already warned the government authorities about the damage evident in the road.

CROSS DAMAGED AT ST HELEN BASILICA

Damage was also caused to a papal cross atop St Helen Basilica in Birkirkara.

MFA: FOOTBALL MATCHES CANCELLED

The Malta Football Association said all of today's scheduled football matches have been cancelled because of the bad weather.

POWER CUTS IN SEVERAL LOCALITIES

Enemalta said the strong wind had damaged overhead power lines in several localities, causing power cuts in parts of Mellieha, Mgarr, Rabat, Marsa and Marsaxlokk.

Works can only start once the wind and rain have calmed down, due to the safety of the employees, the corporation said.

Anyone seeing uprooted poles or low hanging cables is requested to phone on  freephone number 80072224 or 21223601.

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