Update 2 | MET office warns of thunder, gale force winds • Flights diverted, trees uprooted as storm strikes Malta

Thundery rain, gale force winds strike Malta as MIA is forced to divert and delay several flights.

A sudden thunderstorm and gale force winds have destroyed and uprooted trees.
A sudden thunderstorm and gale force winds have destroyed and uprooted trees.

Several flights have been diverted and delayed after heavy rains, thundery weather, and gale-force winds lashed on Malta this afternoon.

As a result of the storm, several flights arriving from Frankfurt, Tunis, Munich, Bergamo, and Luton were forced to divert to Catania, while departures to Rome, Munich, Frankfurt, and Tunis were delayed.

The thunder storm – which struck Malta at about noon – has caused some flooding with Birkirkara, Msida and Balzan residents reporting flooding. Readers have also reported flooding in Zabbar, while the Ghaxaq bypass was temporarily closed after an electricity pole came down.

Police have also warned motorists to exercise caution and avoid low-lying areas that are prone to flooding.

The storm has also uprooted trees, while billboards, boundary walls, electricity poles, and boats have also been damaged.

No serious traffic accidents have been reported.

According to the Meteorological Office, the weather will remain cloudy with chances of thundery rain. The MET office has also warned of very strong gale force winds and thunderstorms.

The storm is expected to continue until Monday with forecasters warning that there is a high possibility of a thunderstorm.

The MET office also reported that Luqa and Xaghra have reported the greatest amount of rainfall with 0.6 mm and 1.6 mm respectively.