'Dangerous' storm warnings issued across Estonia

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Storm makes landfall on Saaremaa, Monday, August 7, 2023.
Storm makes landfall on Saaremaa, Monday, August 7, 2023. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

A "very dangerous" level three storm warning has been issued by the Environment Agency across Western and Southern Estonia on Monday. The Rescue Board is asking residents to prepare. A "dangerous" warning has been announced in central Estonia.

"The Environment Agency's weather service has issued a level-three (the most severe) warning for Western and Southern Estonia, which means the weather is considered extremely dangerous. There may be life-threatening conditions and people are urged to stay vigilant and prepare for storm damages and inconveniences," said Janar Kärner, operational duty officer for the Rescue Board, in a statement on Monday morning.

The forecast warns of heavy rain showers during thunderstorms, wind speeds in excess of 25 meters per second and hail. There may be as much as 30-50 millimeters of precipitation and waterspouts and twisters may form. The storm area will stretch north during the night, with lightning, showers and gust winds possible.

The Rescue Board recommends residents of the affected areas gather up any loose items that might catch flight and park their vehicles away from trees or in a garage with a full tank of gas.

A heavy storm hit Estonia on August 7. Source: Environment Agency

People are urged to keep their mobile phones charged and have enough food and drink at home.

Home electronics should not be connected to the power grid during thunderstorms.

During the storm, people should stay indoors and avoid driving unless absolutely necessary, Drivers need to be on the lookout for fallen trees or power lines.

The latter should be reported using DSO Elektrilevi's 1343 hotline, while the 112 emergency number should be called in life-threatening situations.

Level one yellow (potentially dangerous) and two orange (dangerous) warnings have also been issued across the country. Level three red (very dangerous) is the highest category.

More information can be viewed on the Enviroment Agency's website.


  • Storm reaches west coast

The storm reached Saaremaa and the west coast at approximately 1 p.m. and residents reported seeing huge hail stones.

Environment Agency forecaster Kairo Kiitsak posted a video on social media showing the hail falling on Monday afternoon. It was estimated to be 5-7 cm in diameter.

Resident Deandra Sepp also took photos of golf ball-sized hail stones on Saaremaa's Sõrve Peninsular, the southernmost tip of the western island.

Hail fell on Saaremaa's Sõrve Peninsular on Monday. Source: Deandra Sepp

  • EuroPark offers free parking

In Tallinn and Tartu, parking company EuroPark will allow drivers to park their vehicles for free during the storm.

  • Elektrilevi working to restore power since early morning

As of almost 6 p.m., almost 6,000 are without electricity, Estonia's largest network operator Elektrilevi said in a statement.

The company prepared for the storm and has been working to restore households' connections all day, it said.

"For us, the priority is to eliminate the malfunctions as soon as possible, and we are working with bigger teams in two shifts. As the storm is still gathering momentum according to the forecasts, we can see that more failures are coming. We also remind people to follow all warnings and stay safe and healthy at home in dangerous weather," said Mihkel Härm, chairman of the board.

You can report faults online via MARU and the number of power cuts can be viewed on Elektilevi's map.

This article was updated to add additional information about storm warnings and the situation in Saaremaa. Then again at 6:52 p.m. to add details from Elektrilevi.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski, Helen Wright

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