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WEATHER

One dead as storm batters Denmark and Sweden

At least one person died, streets were flooded and thousands were left without electricity as Storm Malik moved over Scandinavia this weekend, authorities and utilities said.

Cars wade through the water on the road by the lighthouse in Sweden's Malmö Harbour
Cars wade through the water on the road by the lighthouse in Sweden's Malmö Harbour on Sunday as storm Malik continues to ravage Skåne. (Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT)

In central Denmark, a 78-year-old woman died after opening a stable door from the inside which was then caught in the strong winds.

“The woman was dragged out by the wind… as a result, she fell and sustained injuries which led to her death,” Danish police said in a statement.

And in Sweden, two teenage boys were injured in Östra Göinge in Skåne when a tree fell onto the A-tractor they were travelling in, Swedish news agency TT reported.

They were taken by ambulance to hospital. 

Swedish weather service SMHI still has an orange warning in place for storm surges in southern and western Sweden and also an orange warning for high water levels.

And Denmark’s DMI wrote on Twitter that the storm was now “well east” of Denmark, noting that the wind was gradually decreasing but maintained its warning for high water levels for large parts of the country’s inland waters.

No power for thousands
In southern and central Sweden, tens of thousands were left without electricity as the storm passed, according to utilities Eon, Ellevio and Vattenfall.

As of 2pm, just over 20,000 customers were still without power, they said.

“Right now, the weather forecasts indicate that the first repairs can be started at noon at the earliest. Given the extent of the damage, I would like to warn that some customers may remain without power during the evening and night,” Eon regional manager Peter Hjalmar said, TT reported.

Ellevio said it expected most customers would get their power back in the early afternoon.

Travel chaos
The 7.8-kilometre (4.8-mile) Øresund Bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden had to be closed for traffic Saturday evening and stayed shut until Sunday morning.

READ ALSO: Swedish-Danish Øresund bridge reopens as storm winds abate

Several train services along Sweden’s west coast and in Skåne have been cancelled. The strong winds also caused the Älvsborg Bridge in Gothenburg to be closed to traffic.

Meteorological services in both Sweden and Denmark reported hurricane-force winds during the night.

Sweden’s Transport Administration also advised against unnecessary travel during the weekend because of downed trees and objects blowing in the wind, and rescue services around Sweden and Denmark reported hundreds of emergency calls.

There were also air traffic delays at Arlanda on Sunday morning with several flights put on hold, TT said.

Ellen Laurin, a press officer at Swedish airport owner Swedavia said that some delays were to be expected and advised travellers to check travel arrangements with their airline or tour operator.

In central Malmö, strong winds brought down a construction crane, which crushed a number of construction sheds as it fell. (Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT )

In Malmø in southern Sweden, rescue services warned people Sunday to stay clear of the city’s recognisable skyscraper Turning Torso as pieces of the building had come loose due to the strong winds and risked falling to the ground.

Video from the scene also showed trees uprooted and a construction crane tipped over, destroying some small shacks as the counterweight slammed through the road. No-one was injured.

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WEATHER

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.

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