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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Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

March is not a month famous for sunshine and mild temperatures in Denmark, but the current month has broken with that reputation and could set new records.

Is Denmark having its sunniest March ever?

Sunshine and blue sky have dominated weather reports so far throughout March 2022 and, although the end of the month could bring some cloud, the current month is on course to set a record as the sunniest March in Denmark.

As of Thursday morning, 170 hours of sunshine had been registered in March, leaving it 30 hours short of the existing record of 200 hours, a record that has stood for almost 80 years according to broadcaster DR.

The remaining hours of sunshine look achievable if the forecast for the coming days is anything to go by, according to the broadcaster’s meteorologist Søren Jacobsen.

“With the daylight hours we are having now, we get around 10 hours of sun per day when there are no clouds,” he told DR prior to Thursday, which also saw day-long sunshine.

March normally gets 138.4 hours of sunshine, according to DR. The figure is based on the average for the past 10 years.

The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) measures and records Denmark’s sunshine hours. The sunlight must be of a certain strength for it to count towards the total, but in general, a clear sky across the entire horizon and no clouds are required.

The most sun-drenched March on record in Denmark occurred in 1943, when 200 hours were registered. Second place is 2013 with 189.7 hours.

In 2020, Denmark got 182 hours of sun, placing that year 6th on the current list. The country was locked down due to Covid-19 from March 11th through the end of the month.