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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Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Several places around Sweden broke temperature records over the weekend, as unusually warm weather for March bathed the northern half of the country.

Swedish towns set record for warmest March weekend

Torpshammar, near Sundsvall in Västernorrland, on Sunday recorded a temperature of 16.8C.

This was the highest temperature registered anywhere in the country so far this year, although Gävle and Delsbo in Gävleborg were close behind, with both recording a temperature of 16.7C. 

“It’s been warm across the country, but it’s been mostly in the middle and north of Norrland that we’ve had temperatures that are a long way above normal,” Ida Dahlström, a meteorologist with state weather forecaster SMHI, told the TT newswire.

For Delsbo 16.7C is the highest temperature recorded in March since records began in 1898. The cities of Kiruna and Umeå, and the harbour town of Örskär, where records began in 1898, 1858, and 1937 respectively, also all set new March records.

Gäddede and Frösön, both close to the Norwegian border in Jämtland, registered the warmest March day since 1945, while the nearby Storlien registered the warmest March day since 1881.

Dahlström said that cold wind would soon bring an end to the balmy temperatures, with snow expected on Tuesday in many of the central parts of Sweden currently enjoying unusual spring warmth. 

Last year, Sweden recorded the third-hottest June on record, with Stockholm seeing its hottest ever month.

“June 2021 was the hottest June ever recorded in my hometown Stockholm, by a large margin,” climate campaigner Greta Thunberg tweeted at the time. “The second hottest June was in 2020. The third in 2019,” she added.

“Am I sensing a pattern here? Nah, probably just another coincidence.”