Malta is famous around the world for its glorious sunny weather.
Holiday companies regularly boast that the island enjoys an average 300 days of sunshine a year. However, when bad weather batters Malta it can be deadly.
Let’s take a look back at some of the worst storms to hit Malta in recent history.
In October 1913 a sudden heavy downpour accompanied by thunder and lightning flooded many areas. Two 12-year-old boys were killed in Cospicua when the house they were in was hit by a deluge of water. A man walking from Luqa to Cospicua was struck by lightning and rendered unconscious. and in San Gwann four bulls died after their field was badly flooded.
In October 1951, Ugo Galea, 51, lost his life after being swept off his feet by torrential rain and floodwater on Valley Road in Birkirkra.
Just 12 days later, another thunderstorm hit the island, killing Spiridione Zahra, 9, who had been playing at the Marsa Polo Ground when he was carried away by the rainwater. Minutes later a mother, father and son died in Tarxien when the power of the rain forced the roof of their house to cave in. Eight other children were pulled out alive from the rubble and taken to hospital.
In October 1957, four people died when the roof of an apartment block in St Sebastian Street in Valletta collapsed due to heavy rainfall.
On October 1979, another storm also caused four deaths and damage to property. Vivien Huntingford, 53, lost her life when the basement of her house in Attard flooded. British tourist Louvain Margaret Wales, 39, was swept away by the force of the flood water. Her body was found at Salina Bay. Anthony Galea, 64, lost his life when the car he was driving was carried away by a flood in Qormi, while John Herbert, 51, died when his was washed away on the outskirts of Siggiewi to Marsa.
In October 1982, a ferocious storm claimed four more lives. A couple died when the roof of their house collapsed in Arcades Street in Paola. A 70-year-old woman was killed in Sliema when part of the roof of a house she was working in collapsed. A man met the same fate in Hamrun when the roof of his home gave way.