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Storm causes flooding, leaves thousands without electricity in Sweden

An overnight storm Friday battered southern Sweden with hurricane-strength winds, knocking out power to tens of thousands and causing flooding in the coastal city of Goteborg. More than 80,000 households experienced power outages after the storm, which also caused major traffic disruptions. Parts of a roof were torn off a house on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland, and a passenger bus was pushed onto its side in a water-filled ditch on Sweden's west coast. Downed trees blocked more than 40 roads overnight. At least six train lines in the southern part of the country were closed as rail companies worked to clear fallen trees from the tracks. Winds off the country's southern coast reached speeds of 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour). Winds of about 119 kph (74 mph) are classified as hurricane-strength. Inland, gusts of up to 114 kph (71 mph) were recorded in some places.

BRITAIN - Ferry crashes into oil platform as gales hit the Tyne on Friday. Stunned workers and anglers watched in disbelief as a DFDS ship escaped down the River Tyne. The runaway ship was torn from its moorings as FREAK winds lashed the North East. Gales reached 60mph, leading to road closures and the evacuation of a retail park at the MetroCentre. The ferry was seen floating towards South Shields. It is believed a diver was working underneath the ferry at the time and narrowly avoided being injured. A witness saw the ferry smash into an oil platform on the south side of the river. “We all thought it was the weather. I’ve worked down here a few times and I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT.” “Due to exceptionally adverse weather conditions, strong winds enabled the King of Scandinavia to slip its mooring line and berth, causing the vessel to collide with a decommissioned oil rig. No passengers were on board at the time and no crew members were injured. The ship has now been safely towed back to a river berth.” Meanwhile, thousands of shoppers were evacuated from Gateshead’s MetroCentre when winds tore loose part of a store’s roof. Police barricaded a Gateshead road to protect drivers and pedestrians from splinters breaking off wood paneling on an apartment block. The southern stretch of Old Durham Road was closed from 2.30pm after debris falling from new flats in Blacklock Close was reported blowing across the road. Sections of the A68 in Northumberland were closed after two lorries were blown over. Both drivers suffered minor injuries. A section of the busy A19 near Seaham, County Durham, was closed when a van and trailer overturned blocking the southbound carriageway. The Met Office predicted the winds would die down over the weekend.

FIJI - The situation in Rakiraki is worsening as heavy downpour has led to flooding in the town. The situation might worsen even more at night when the high tide comes in. The Nadi Weather Office said an active trough of low pressure with associated cloud, rain and moist northwesterly winds are slow moving across Fiji.

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