Massive damage as Faroe Islands battered by hurricane-force storm

Widespread damage to property occurred in the Faroe Islands yesterday evening and night, as a fierce Atlantic storm raged by.

Winds in the storm went up to 51 metres per second (184 km/h or 114 mph). To put that in context, the lower wind speed limit for a hurricane is 32 metres per second (115 km/h and 71.6 mph) — meaning that for a time the storm was equivalent to a category two hurricane.

The Faroese news website Portal.fo reports that boats came loose from their moorings and stranded themselves on the shore. Roofs were blown off many houses and some garages disappeared altogether. Heavy fish crates litter the islands like driftwood.

All residents of the old people’s home at Trongisvágur had to be evacuated after the roof blew away; but they were some of the only people out-and-about, as police in Tórshavn imposed a curfew on all residents because it was believed to be too dangerous to venture outside among all the blown debris. The police actions appear to have worked, because there are not yet any reports of death or serious injuries.

It is feared that oil leaked from the new Tróndur í Gøtu fishing vessel as it dashed itself uncontrolled against the shore.

The weather is a lot better in the Faroes today; but by last night it was already clear that a lot of time-consuming and expensive repairs await the Faroe Islanders today.

The storm is now headed for Norway and has been given the name Berit, Vísir.is reports.

(As commenter John Calley kindly points out below, a Facebook page, which is open to the public, contains dozens of photographs of the damage caused. Pictures can be seen here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/%C3%93dnin-Berit/293476274019374?sk=wall)

(Photos: Faroe Islands on a calm day, Alëx Elliott // IceNews)

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