Southern Sweden braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in

Rescue authorities on the West coast of Sweden were on Saturday braced for the arrival of Storm Malik, which has already pummelled the UK with winds of up to 100kph, with one woman killed by a falling tree.

Southern Sweden braced for 100km/h hour winds as Storm Malik sweeps in
A woman struggles with an umbrella in Malmö on Saturday afternoon as Storm Malik arrives. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The emergency services have called in extra staff in southern Sweden to deal with the expected accidents involving falling trees, flying objects, and cars blown off the road. The Swedish Transport Association is warning of traffic disruptions, and police in several areas are warning people to avoid travelling if possible.

“Anyone going out in the traffic when the wind is really starting to blow should ask themselves whether their journey can wait to minimise the risk of accidents,” wrote police in Kronoberg County.

Sweden’s state weather forecaster SMHI has issued an orange weather warning for most of the west coast, Skåne and southern Småland.

“So far it’s still relatively calm, with little more than a few gusts, but in the evening and especially at night, the area of low pressure is going to worsen, bringing winds of 30m/s (110 km/h) and more,” said Moa Hallberg, the forecaster’s meteorologist, at lunchtime on Saturday.

Jonas Hemert, operations chief for the rescue services in Northwest Skåne warned of a very rough sea which he warned could batter coastal areas.

“We have an exposed position and the water levels might rise by 1.5 meters, and the waves could be up to three meters high,” he said.

Patric Nilsson, operations chief with the rescue services for Southern Sweden, said he had called in staff to deal with the more than 100 more calls than normal on Saturday.  

A sign at the Hylliebadet swimming pool in Malmö warns customers of early closing due to the storm. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

The storm is expected to move up onto the east coast of the country by Sunday morning.

“In the east, we’ve got colder air, so the rain is expected to be replaced by snow, and we’ve issued a warning of snow combined with wind for the coasts of Uppland and Roslagen,” Hallberg said.

The German company E.on, which operates the network over much of southern Sweden, said that it was predicted that damage to the network might cause power cuts, but it said it would not come out to bring people back online until the storm was over, focusing instead on life-threatening situations.

“With the kinds of wind speed SMHI is warning about, it would quite simply be dangerous to send engineers out into the field,” said Peter Hjalmar, the company’s chief for southern Sweden in a press message. “We are going to focus on handled acute situations, which present a danger to the lives or health of the public.”

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Sweden issues health warnings over Midsummer weekend heatwave

Sweden's state weather forecaster SMHI has issued a yellow warning for the high temperatures across large parts of Sweden this Midsummer weekend, as people's health could be seriously affected.

Sweden issues health warnings over Midsummer weekend heatwave

People in Sweden have been warned to keep cool over the Midsummer weekend, as soaring temperatures mean the heat will affect some people’s health.

“In general, we in Sweden have a bad idea of ​​how dangerous the heat can be. It can be dangerous for everyone, not just for risk groups”,  Elin Andersson, researcher in environmental health at the Swedish Public Health Agency, told newswire TT.

She advised that certain individuals such as elderly, chronically ill, pregnant women, young children, elite exercisers and those on medication, take extra care.

Certain medicines, such as antidepressants, diuretics, beta blockers and neuroleptics, can affect the body’s fluid and heat regulation.

“If you take this type of medicine, it is good to contact your doctor when there is a heat wave. Sometimes you may need to temporarily change the dose”, Andersson told TT.

Caution should also be taken with young children under the age of five, as they haven’t yet developed their ability to sweat properly.

“They need help to stay cool and replenish fluids continuously. Another tip is to serve extra liquid-rich food, such as vegetables and fruit”, Andersson said.

Pregnant women should also take extra care in the heat, she added.

The most dangerous consequence of prolonged heat is dehydration, which often affects the elderly and people who exert themselves physically.

“Our general advice is to drink more than usual when it is hot. But what is right depends on who you are. For example, people with certain types of kidney disease should not drink too much. You must check with your doctor.”

Elin Andersson says that heat stroke is unusual in Sweden but heat-fatigue is more common.

“You can feel tired, dizzy, weak, nauseous and have an elevated heart rate. Heat exhaustion can become severe and turn into heat stroke. This is when the heart rate gets even higher and the body’s heat regulation stops working.”

Other symptoms are that sweating may stop completely and that you lose consciousness.

“If you suspect heat stroke, you should always call 112”, she said.

In Båstad, the municipal water company is urging residents to be restrained with their use of water, as there is a risk the taps will be empty by this afternoon.

“We had normal behaviour until half past three yesterday, then a completely crazy consumption began that ended at midnight. Then the same trend started again this morning”, Jonas Håkansson, head of the Drinking Water department at NSVA, told newswire TT.

“This has to do with the heat. It is obvious that many people come to their summer houses where they plan to celebrate Midsummer and think that they can use the drinking water exactly as they want.

“One feels a great deal of frustration and disappointment that people do not take greater individual responsibility,” he said.