Storm bat­ters Malta

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE -

Part of a wall shel­ter­ing an in­let used by fish­er­men in St Paul’s Bay came crash­ing down after suf­fer­ing the brunt of yes­ter­day’s storm. The wall’s struc­tural in­tegrity in the event of such a storm was the sub­ject of a Par­lia­men­tary Ques­tion ear­lier this month

Rough seas bat­tered Malta’s coast­line yes­ter­day, as po­lice is­sued warn­ings to drivers, ad­vis­ing them to avoid coastal ar­eas af­fected by the rough seas.

The winds were so strong, and the sea so rough that the po­lice urged mem­bers of the pub­lic to avoid coastal ar­eas and seafronts such as Borg Olivier Street in St Ju­lian’s (Spinola Bay) etc. due to high waves crash­ing onto land.

The Radis­son ho­tel in St Ju­lian’s was flooded the night be­fore as a re­sult of the storm which hit the Mal­tese is­lands.

In a state­ment, the ho­tel said it sus­tained some dam­age as a re­sult of the strong North East winds that hit the Mal­tese Is­lands in the early hours of the morn­ing.

“The main ar­eas af­fected by the heavy waves where the ho­tel’s Grand Ball­room, the Kon­tiki Restau­rant, the Mar­ion Mizzi Spa and the in­door pool and gym ar­eas. Th­ese ar­eas have now been closed off and re­pairs are sched­uled to com­mence im­me­di­ately ef­fect.”

De­spite this set­back the ho­tel served break­fast to its guests while other pub­lic ar­eas con­tinue to op­er­ate as usual.

Adrian At­tard, Radis­son Blu Re­sort, St Ju­lian’s Gen­eral Man­ager, ex­plained “We are work­ing around the set­backs that this storm has caused and con­tinue to wel­come guests with our usual service de­liv­ery.“

The po­lice and the Civil Pro­tec­tion De­part­ment re­ceived re­ports from all over the is­land about trees and elec­tric­ity poles that were de­stroyed and wa­ter tank cov­ers that were blown off.

In Xemx­ija, de­bris on the road brought in by huge waves made driv­ing there dif­fi­cult, while parts of the Coast Road have also been flooded by the rag­ing waves.

Boats at Por­tomaso were also caked in fish slime brought in by the waves. The south-bound car­riage­way of the Coast Road was also af­fected by fish slime which an eye-wit­ness de­scribed as look­ing like huge snow-flakes fly­ing through the air. This will most def­i­nitely fire up the de­bate on lo­cal fish farms once more.

The wall shel­ter­ing an in­let in St Paul’s Bay came crash­ing down yes­ter­day due to rough seas. The area is used by fish­er­men, who have ques­tioned its struc­tural in­tegrity.

Ear­lier this month, PN MP Censu Galea had posed a Par­lia­men­tary Ques­tion about this very site, ex­press­ing the fish­er­men’s con­cern that the wall was dam­aged. He asked En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Jose Her­rera: “The fish­er­men who use the in­let in St Paul’s Bay are wor­ried, as the very same in­let could end up without any guard after a storm since the wall that sep­a­rates the in­let from the sea is dam­aged. Can the min­is­ter ex­plain whether fish­eries in­spec­tors have in­spected this site, and if not can the min­is­ter take the nec­es­sary steps to en­sure such an in­spec­tion oc­curs?”

In re­sponse, the min­is­ter said: “On this ques­tion, I tasked the Fish­eries and Agri­cul­tural De­part­ment to co­or­di­nate with Trans­port Malta, which is re­spon­si­ble for mar­itime in­fra­struc­ture”.

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