Watch: Strong winds lash Malta, power cuts reported
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Watch: Strong winds lash Malta, power cuts reported

Damages reported, hotel flooded

Waves crashing into a Sliema mall. Video: Rachel RadmilliWaves crashing into a Sliema mall. Video: Rachel Radmilli

Updated 7.20pm with Enemalta statement

Vicious winds are lashing the Maltese islands leaving a trail of damage, especially at the Radisson Hotel in St Julian’s which was flooded after strong waves smashed through its windows.

The hotel said in a statement the main areas affected by the heavy waves were the grand ballroom, the Kontiki Restaurant, the Marion Mizzi Spa and the indoor pool and gym areas. These areas have now been closed off and repairs are scheduled to commence with immediate effect.

Despite the damage, other public areas continued to operate.

According to the Meteorological Office, northeasterly winds will be strong to very strong today. A moderate gregale warning for mariners is in place.

The police and the Civil Protection Department received several minor damage reports from all over the island, mainly concerning destroyed trees, electricity poles and water tank covers.

No one was injured.

The huge swells and violent waves also battered Sliema's coastline, with violent waves forcing shoreline restaurants to call it a day.

This ship asked for tugboat assistance while moored in Rinella. Video: Ray MerciecaThis ship asked for tugboat assistance while moored in Rinella. Video: Ray Mercieca

The police today issued a warning advising the public to avoid coastal areas and seafronts such as Triq Borg Olivier in St Julian's due to high waves crashing onto land. Seawater had flooded one side of the Strand in Sliema.

A resident said the strong sea waves even smashed cars into the Park Towers Mall in St Julian's.

Video: Claire CamilleriVideo: Claire Camilleri

Electricity grid impacted

Enemalta said this evening that the strong winds had impacted the national electricity grid.

Parts of the low voltage network which distributes electricity from substations to customers’ properties, were damaged, disrupting supply to customers. The winds brought down several overhead power lines and damaged poles and other distribution equipment.

Engineers are assessing each area, and where possible, electricity supply is being restored. Additional teams of technicians have been deployed to respond to customers’ requests for assistance. Repair works will continue throughout the night, Enemalta said.

"In some cases, electricity supply will be restored as soon as the weather conditions are safe enough for workers to carry out the necessary repairs."

For personal assistance, customers are encouraged to contact the Enemalta 24/7 Customer Care team on 8007 2224.

In some cases, electricity supply will be restored as soon as the weather conditions are safe enough for workers to carry out the necessary repair

Meanwhile, a glutinous slime was washed into Portomaso but fish farms have categorically denied it had anything to do with them.

Joseph Caruana, Fish & Fish director, said: “This slime has absolutely nothing to do with us. We have asked the government to carry out an investigation to establish this once and for all, and we’re going to keep putting pressure until it’s resolved.”

Still, a reader reported seeing amounts of "strange slime like big snowflakes or foam from a washing machine being washed up by the waves" along the Coast Road, making the roads slippery and dangerous to drivers.

The Met. Office said the wind speeds of 22-33 knots, gusting at up to 45 knots, or Force 8 are predicted today, together with rain.

The winds are expected to die down by tomorrow but rain showers will continue to feature. Fair weather is forecasted by Monday.

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