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A streak of lightning illuminates London’s Shard. Pic. Matthew Smith
Electric storms have swept through the UK, creating dramatic skyscapes worthy of a Hollywood film.
After a sunny start to the Bank Holiday weekend, with temperatures reaching 27C (80.6F), Saturday’s balmy evening eventually broke into a violent thunderstorm accompanied by heavy rain.
The UK was struck by lightning more than 60,000 times in 24 hours, according to the Met Office.
Temperatures overnight did not fall below 15C (59F), he said, adding: “For the end of May that’s a pretty hot and humid night, so everything was primed.
“We had some storms coming in from northern France and some building up in the Channel and they sort of spread out and have been working their way in.
“It looks like there just one huge area of thundery showers that worked across London just before midnight.”
London Fire Brigade said it received more than 500 weather-related calls, most of them due to flooding.
In Warwickshire, five properties were struck by lightning and in Dawlish, Devon, a phone box burst into flames after a telephone pole was also hit by lightning.
Flights from Stansted Airport were disrupted on Sunday after the fuelling system was damaged by a lightning strike.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution posted a photo of the storm above the Thames, lighting up the water close to their rescue station.
A dramatic shot of lightning illuminating the Shard in the capital was captured by data journalist Matthew Smith.
Nearly 1,000 properties were left without power in the Midlands following the storm and 17 flood alerts have been issued for parts of the Thames Valley.
Sky News weather presenter Jo Edwards said: “Heavy thundery showers will be a feature of the weather over the next few days, developing over southern counties and the south-west.
“Some places will face a deluge, with torrential downpours bringing significant rainfall. There’ll also be frequent thunder and lightning with the risk of some large hail.
“Overnight the thunderstorms will move northwards to reach northern England, the Midlands and East Anglia by the end of the night.”
There is a Met Office warning of heavy thunderstorms until 6am Monday, covering much of England and Wales.
With the muggy weather set to continue through the start of the week, bringing with it cumulonimbus clouds, thunderstorms could last until Wednesday.
Courtesy of Sky News
What was described as “a colossal electrical storm” hit the Millers Flat, Ettrick and Roxburgh areas last night, causing flooding and closing the state highway.
The Central Otago storm was accompanied by torrential rain and multiple lightning strikes, sparking calls for help to the police and fire brigades.
Fire units from Millers Flat and Roxburgh responded after the storm hit about 6pm. Power to some homes was understood to have been cut.
Police said there had been calls from the public about flooding on State Highway 8 near Ettrick. Members of the public told police a long stretch – perhaps 2km to 3km – was flooded.
The New Zealand Transport Agency said this morning the road was open between Roxburgh and Ettrick with speed restrictions in place. Drivers were advised to take extra care.
Millers Flat Tavern owner Mark McConway said there was “massive thunder and a massive downpour” of water from the hills behind the tavern.
“Water just came out of nowhere and went right through the basement of the pub and flooded the car park.”
Despite the flood there was no damage to the building. “We’re right because the building’s high enough off the ground.”
Just before 9pm the fire brigade was still pumping water from his basement.
“We’ve been here six years and I’ve never seen it like this,” Mr McConway said.
Millers Flat Holiday Park owner Marise May said the storm was dramatic.
“It was really loud thunder and lightning which was pretty close to us, and very heavy rain over a period of about 30 minutes.”
“There was plenty of water everywhere”, though there was no damage at the park.
Lower areas at the holiday park had surface flooding, but no campers were in that area.
“It was pretty spectacular all right. It was one of the biggest thunderstorms I’ve seen.”
MetService forecaster Sarah Garlick said there were about 50 lightning strikes in Central Otago between 4pm and 6pm.
It recorded 20mm of rain at Millers Flat, Ms Garlick said.
The MetService had predicted a moderate chance of thunderstorms for the area.
Courtesy of odt.co.nz
Torrential rain has swamped parts of the South East and London, flooding streets, disrupting public transport and prompting hundreds of calls to the Fire Brigade.
Red “immediate action” warnings are in place for areas of Essex and the capital after around a month’s rain fell in a few hours.
London Fire Brigade said it received 300 calls between 1.30am and 3am – the same number it normally gets in a day.
Call-outs included reports of vehicles trapped by water, flooded homes and businesses, and lightning strikes on property.
Flooded streets were reported across the capital, with Bexley getting nearly half of the average rainfall for June in just a single hour.
One driver in Battersea was pictured waist-deep in water trying to save his car from underneath a rail bridge, while Elizabeth Bodea shared a picture of a flooded car park in Romford.
Usman Shah posted on Twitter: “Never seen anything like this! So much rain in London! And then thunder. And then lightning. And then POWER CUT. And then my bedroom floods!”
Carl Mortimer posted: “Looks like I’m not driving into London this morning then. Floods, everywhere!”
Rail commuters faced a nightmare journey to work, with Transport for London reporting delays and suspensions on the Tube, London Overground and TfL Rail.
Trains are not running between Surrey Quays and New Cross / Clapham Junction, and there are severe delays between Highbury & Islington and West Croydon / Crystal Palace.
One passenger at Clapham Junction said platforms were a “sea of bodies” as passengers struggled to work out alternative routes.
The circle line is also suspended, and flooding has cancelled all services between Liverpool Street and Ilford and led to a “severely limited” service on the Gatwick Express.
South West Trains is advising passengers not to travel because submerged tracks and a tree on the line are causing problems in southwest London and on the line to Reading.
Southern Rail is also reporting severe disruption, with the line blocked between Clapham and Milton Keynes.
It is advising travellers to seek “alternative options” and says tickets are being accepted by other operators including Thameslink, London Underground, Tramlink and London Midland.
On the roads, the capital’s North Circular is one of the many roads flooded and was closed at Waltham Forest.
The Highways Agency is also reporting long delays on the anti-clockwise M25 between junctions nine and 11, and the southbound A12 near Chelmsford.
Sky News weather presenter Nazaneen Ghaffar said a “plume of moist, warm and very unstable air” had caused 6000 lightning strikes to be reported in the UK and northern France overnight.
Despite a break in the rain by mid-morning, the deluge is set to return – raising the possibility of further travel problems tonight.
“By this afternoon most of the thunderstorms should clear from eastern England, leading to drier conditions for a time,” said Ghaffar.
“However, later this afternoon thunderstorms are expected across these regions again with frequent lightning, which may lead to flash flooding and therefore disruption to travel for this evening’s rush hour.”
Courtesy of Sky News
Four people, including three members of a family, were killed in separate lightning strikes in Noakhali and Barisal districts on Tuesday, reports news agency UNB.
In Noakhali, three members of a family were killed as a thunderbolt struck them at Gucchhagram in Companyganj upazila in the afternoon.
Locals said Shahidul Islam, 35, along with his wife Parveen Akter Laizu, 25 and son Antar, 2, was going to his in-laws’ house at Musapur riding a motorcycle.
On the way, when they took shelter in a cowshed due to heavy rainfall a thunderbolt struck them around 1:00pm, leaving the trio dead on the spot.
In Barisal, farmer Abu Akand, 45, received injuries as lightning hit him when he was working in the field around 11:00am.
Later, he was whisked off to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital where physicians declared him dead.
Courtesy of en.prothom-alo.com
One man has been killed and dozens of people, including children, have been taken to hospital as lightning strikes hit parts of Europe, including a park in Paris and a football pitch in Germany.
In southern Poland, a man in his forties was killed when he was struck by lightning as he descended the Babia Gora mountain, according to reports.
In Germany, a total of 33 people, including 29 youngsters aged nine to 11, were treated after a bolt hit a pitch where a junior football game was being played, in the western town of Hoppstädten.
Lightning struck during a junior football game in Hoppstädten
The 45-year-old referee suffered a direct strike and was taken to hospital by helicopter. He was one of three adults seriously injured.
The game had just finished when the lightning hit at about 2pm on Saturday, according to a police spokesman.
He told German TV: “According to what everyone present says, there were no clouds in the sky… so that this incident couldn’t have been expected.”
Parts of western Germany have seen storms, heavy rain and hail over the past two days.
The incident came on the same day as a lightning strike at a children’s birthday party in a Parisian park left 11 people in hospital, including at least two in a life-threatening condition.
The victims were at Parc Monceau in the northwest of the city when the thunderstorm struck.
They had tried to take shelter under a tree, but were hit by lightning.
Professeur Pierre Carli, director of Hospital Necker in Paris, said three adults – one woman and two men – were in hospital, along with eight children – one of them on life support.
It is believed the children are aged between seven and 14.
Police were quick to set up a medical unit on site to treat some of the victims, with others rushed to hospital.
Fire service spokesman Eric Moulin said an off-duty fire officer ran to the scene after the lightning struck, administering first aid, including heart massage, and helping direct rescuers to the area.
“Without his help in those initial moments the situation would have been much worse,” Mr Moulin said, adding that it was a timely reminder of the need to know first aid.
Jean-Louis Laurens, who lives near Parc Monceau, said it was rather rare to see such a storm hitting the French capital.
He described the weather event as “dramatic”.
The torrential rain also interrupted play at the French Open.
Courtesy of Sky News