Three dead as hurricane winds sweep over Southern Sweden
Almost 300,000 Swedish households without power
At least three people have died as a result of hurricane winds that swept over the southern and western coasts of Sweden on Sunday, and 225,000 households faced power cuts even on Monday morning.
A nine-year-old boy died after a tree fell on him, and a man aged 62 was killed when a falling tree hit the car he was driving. The third victim was a 24-year-old man who was driving a truck when a falling tree hit the vehicle.
In many districts across the southern part of the country, the storm-force winds recorded reached a speed of as much as 33 metres per second.
For safety reasons, train and bus traffic was brought to a standstill in most parts of the western coast. Moreover, the Swedish rail operator Banverket cancelled all train traffic in the southern parts of the country.
On Hanö, an island off the coast of the province of Blekinge, the wind speed reached a peak of 40 metres per second, reported the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).
The storm, which has been named Per, was expected to die away on Sunday evening, when the low pressure system moved towards the Gulf of Finland.
The Oresund Bridge to Denmark was closed to road traffic, while some trains were travelling across the bridge to Denmark at slower speeds than normal.
As a result of a power failure, the Gothenburg City Airport was without electricity for an hour. Also the city's railway station was blacked out.
Moreover, at least two planes which should have landed in Gothenburg were diverted to Stockholm-Skavsta Airport because of the gusting winds.
On the roads, the most important motorway, the E4, was cut off at Ljungby, stopping all southbound traffic.
Also ferry traffic in the Skagerrak and Kattegat straits was badly affected, with several departures from Trelleborg to the continent of Europe cancelled, while the traffic between Helsingborg and Elsinore was running as normal.
Following the worst storm in Sweden since Hurricane Gudrun in 2004, the sea level rose also in Finland's Turku harbour on Sunday evening. The water reached a level of some 116 centimetres above the normal, flooding an area of about four hectares.
The rescue services placed sandbags around the adjacent buildings and the firefighters pumped water out of the conference premises of the nearby Seaport Hotel. However, the water level started to decline later in the evening.
The Finnish Meteorological Institute has issued a warning of strong south to southwesterly winds reaching a speed of 15 metres per second for the Northern Baltic, the Åland Sea, and the Gulf of Bothnia.
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)