Storm left thousands of households in Southern Finland without electricity
Nearly all high-speed passenger hydrofoils operating between Helsinki
and Tallinn remained in port
In addition to spoiling the ongoing Athletics World Champions in Helsinki, Tuesday night's exceptionally strong thunderstorm in Southern Finland managed to uproot trees, cutting power lines and leaving thousands of households in Southern Finland without electricity, and caused shipping lines to cancel several departures because of rough seas.
Nearly all high-speed passenger hydrofoils operating between Helsinki and Tallinn remained in port during Wednesday because of rough seas. Two luxury cruise liners were forced to cancel their visit to Helsinki because of the dangerously strong winds. One of the ships continued to the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
On Wednesday morning, only one of Tallink's AutoExpress ships carried out a trial sail from Tallinn to Helsinki.
At 21.30 one of Silja Line's SuperSeaCat vessels arrived in Helsinki and set off again for Tallinn at 23.00. Earlier in the evening at around 19.00, another high-speed vessel had sailed off to Tallinn.
In the Gulf of Finland, the gusty wind that at times reached a speed of 25 metres a second raised waves of up to six metres in height. In inland areas a top wind speed of 18 m/s was recorded. Towards Wednesday evening the waves finally began to abate.
Despite the storm, air traffic continued perfectly normally. Trains on the coastal track between Helsinki and Turku were delayed between 10-30 minutes because of a power cable damage.
Trees falling on power lines managed to knock out electricity from thousands of homes in southern and southwestern parts of the country.
According to power supplier Fortum, between Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning the thunderstorm had also knocked out transformers in South-Western Finland. Around 3,000 households in all were left without electricity for up to ten hours.
The Vattenfall power company, in turn, reported over 4,000 darkened homes in the Häme region near the city of Tampere. Also in the south-east stormy winds caused problems and 3,000 homes in the province of Savo and 4,000 homes in Northern Karelia suffered from power failures throughout Wednesday.
In the idyllic village of Teijo in the southern municipality of Perniö, a severe gust or tromb partly damaged the famed garden of the Ruukinkartano manor house.
A miniature twister that passed between the main building and the outbuildings uprooted some trees and broke off branches from others, but spared the historic structures from 1770.
In Helsinki's Herttoniemi, the precipitation during the heaviest downpour was 33.8 mm in an hour, equalling 30-40 times the amount of a normal squall of summer rain.
During the course of Tuesday some 1,500 bolts of lightning were registered in Finland's land areas.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Storm fells trees and interrupts electricity supply in Southern Finland (10.8.2005)
Fierce thunderstorm causes chaotic scenes at World Championships (10.8.2005)