Berit's Winds Do Not Spare Estonia (6)

Photo: Postimees/Scanpix
11/28/2011 10:02 AM
Category: Environment

Fear of a repeat of 2005 coastal flooding has been averted, but an storm that lashed most of Scandinavia over the weekend uprooted street lights in Kuressaare and knocked over Tallinn's Christmas tree for the the second time in three days.

Eesti Energia said 6,500 customers were without power on Monday morning countrywide, and added that this was a conservative estimate.

The storm, called Berit, and packing 100 kph sustained winds on the Gulf of Riga, was responsible for at least two deaths in Norway. It moved inland from Estonia's islands and west coast overnight. Inland areas were warned winds could gust to 100 km/h.

The higher winds reached Tallinn in the morning, but damage reports were already coming in during the evening of November 27.

Despite being secured by cables, the Christmas tree on usually heavily frequented Town Hall Square in Tallinn toppled over again. No one was injured. Police cordoned off the scene at 22.00 and left the tree in its fallen position.

Passengers in a car being driven on a road between Tallinn and Tartu were not so lucky. A falling tree hit the car, and one person was hospitalized.

In Kuressaare on the island of Saaremaa, residents reported concrete light posts toppling.

 In Pärnu, sea levels were 110 cm above normal, but well off the 295 cm experienced in January 2005.  A level of 160 cm over normal is considered "critical."

Kristopher Rikken


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