[WATCH] Rescue operation in Burmarrad, three people airlifted from flooded road

Civil Protection and Police departments appeal for caution on the road, as floods hit several areas throught the island

Footage shows members of the AFM and CPD airlifting people out of the flooded road in Burmarrad
Footage shows members of the AFM and CPD airlifting people out of the flooded road in Burmarrad

Updated at 17:35 with PN statement

Members of the Armed Forces and Civil Protection Department saved two members of the CPD and an elderly person, stuck in heavy floods in Burmarrad, following significant rainfall on Thursday morning.

National Security Minister Byron Camilleri thanked the officers involved and all those that worked in today's difficult conditions.

Malta has seen heavy rain fall and thunder all morning, with the Metereological office issuing an orange warning for thundery and gusty rain showers.

Various parts of the islands, including Msida, Burmarrad, Rabat, Marsa have seen heavy floods in the roads, leading to traffic congestions. Footage emerged of the Civil Protection Department (CPD) assisting a man out of his car, after his car was stuck in the floods of Burmarrad.

When contacted, the CPD acknowledged that they are dealing with a large volume of calls for assistance and appealed to the public for caution. “Reports indicate that this is one of the worst thunderstorms in a long time.”

CPD Director Emmanuel Psaila emphasised that there is no reason to panic, and said that their service will proceed, prioritising cases where lives could be in danger.

The Malta Police Force also issued a warning urging motorists to avoid low-lying areas due to flooding caused by the ongoing thunderstorm. 

Malta Public Transport stated that due to the severe weather conditions, many bus routes are being affected, resulting in a low service level in many areas. They apologised for the inconvenience.

Transport Malta said in a statement that they will be picking up vehicle registration plates lost and found in the streets. "Later on, Transport Malta will contact the respective owners to collect the new plates from the Authority’s offices. In such circumstances, the Authority will re issue the registration plates free of charge."

Winds are currently rather strong to strong Southeast, becoming light to moderate Westerly. Rainfall is predicted throughout the whole day, except for a brief interruption early in the afternoon.

Rainfall is expected for the rest of the weekend.

PN calls for more investment into flood mitigation infrastructure

PN called for more investment into flood mitigation infrastracture, following the floods on Thursday morning.

“We reiterate the need for more planning, in particular for flood mitigation, using water culverts. It is clear that in the infrastructural projects that are being carried out, infrastructure that mitigates floods is often not included and there is a serious maintenance deficit,” PN said in a statement.

It said that due to the excessive amount of rainfall, road hazards increased and showed gratitude towards the police, civil protection department, the army and Transport Malta officials that oversaw road management.