Storm prompts Eckerö and Viking to cancel Tallinn-Helsinki ferries
Two ferry lines which operate vessels between Tallinn and Helsinki, Viking Line and Eckerö, have cancelled many of their services for Thursday after Storm Alia hit the region overnight, continuing into the morning.
Estonian line Tallink is continuing its services at the time of writing. Ferries between the Estonian mainland and the islands will be subject to disruption, as wind speeds reach and even exceed 30 meters per second (Beaufort scale: Force 11).
Finnish line Eckerö has announced that it has halted a total of eight trips between the two capitals, which are the 9.00 a.m. and 3.15 p.m. MS Finlandia departures from Helsinki, and the 12.00 p.m and 6.30 p.m. return trips from Tallinn.
Eckerö's Finbo Cargo route from Vuosaare, Finland, to Muuga, near Tallinn, is off for 11.00 a.m. and 7.15 p.m., with again the return trips at 3.15 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. canceled.
Viking line has cancelled all its Thursday schedule due to the storm, meaning the Viking XPRS and Gabriella ferries are not sailing from Tallinn at 8.00 a.m., 10.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m.
Tallink still running
Tallink boss Paavo Nõgene told ERR that the companies ferries are still operating between Tallinn and Helsinki as things stand, though the weather conditions may cause delays.
TS Laevad, which connects Estonia's western islands with the mainland, has also said disruptions are expected.
"Our ship captains will make their own decisions on whether to sail, based on passenger and vessel safety. We will announce any changes as soon as possible," the company said.
The state weather service (Riigi ilmateenistus) has issued a severe storm warning, as the storm, which arrived over Estonia late on Wednesday from the north and west, will bring gusts of up to 30 m/s (Force 11).
The storm is set to continue through the day, with northwesterly winds reaching up to 20 m/s inland, and up to 23 m/s in the west of the country. In coastal areas and on the islands, gusts could reach 28 m/s and 32 m/s on the open sea.
The storm will weaken in the evening.
Causes mass power cuts in Finland
Estonia's northern neighbor has borne the brunt of Storm Alia, with close to 50,000 households suffering power outages as a result.
The Pietarsaari weather observation station on the west coast of Finland recorded a maximum wind speed of 35.3 m/s (Force 12, i.e. hurricane wind-speeds), and the number of power outages is reportedly set to rise. At least a few hundred outages have been reported in Estonia too.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte