Storm leaves more than 36,000 households without power ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

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The emergency call center has received over 300 calls, more than 36,000 people have been left without power, ferry and train traffic have been disrupted, and two children were injured by a fallen tree on Wednesday after strong winds swept across the country.

Elektrilevi, the largest electricity network operator in Estonia, said as of 6 p.m. there are over 23,000 households without electricity. At 7.30 p.m. the company told ERR approximately 40,000 were now without power. At 8.30 p.m. the number had decreased to more than 36,000.

The emergency call center has received more than 200 storm-related reports the majority dealing with fallen trees, the Rescue Board said at 6 p.m. on Wednesday evening. By 7. 30 p.m. this has risen to over 300 calls.

At 4:47 p.m., the emergency call center received a report that two children were trapped under a tree at Padise Community Center. An ambulance took the children to hospital.

The Rescue Board said the biggest challenges have been in Saaremaa, where an additional rescue team has been called on to assist, but problems have been reported all over the country.

The storm was predicted to reach its peak between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and then begin to weaken. Wind has reached speeds of up to 30 m/s in Saaremaa.

Rescue Board issues storm advice 

The Rescue Board has re-issued instructions and tips on how to prepare for a storm as well as how to act during.

Before the storm:

  • Pick up any items in a yard or garden that may be damaged by the wind.
  • Park vehicles in the open or in the garage.
  • Take into account possible blackouts: have extra food and drink.
  • Fill the car's fuel tank.

During a storm:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Don't drive. If driving is unavoidable, choose the appropriate speed and be aware you may face additional objects in the road.
  • Keep away from dropped power lines and report them to Elektrilevi at 1343 and the Emergency Response Center at 112.
  • If possible, avoid [wood-burning] heating. In case of strong winds, chimneys can end up working backwards, with the wind overpowering their typical draft.
  • In the event of personal injury or death resulting in imminent danger call 112.

In the event of a power outage:

  • Inform your electricity companies.
  • In the event of a power failure, use a torch with batteries rather than candles as a light source.
  • Help older people in your community and check they are okay.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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