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Strongest winds in 14 yrs batter Latvian capital

Latvia,Environment/Wildlife

Author : Indo Asian News Service

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Riga, Jan 15 (IANS) Riga, the capital of Latvia, was battered by gale-force winds during the strongest storm that hit the city in 14 years, the country's meteorological service said.

According to the Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, the speed of wind gusts in the city reached 25.3 metres per second on Friday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The city last experienced a comparable storm on February 23, 2008, when the wind speed reached 27.5 metres per second.

The northwesterly wind wreaked havoc in the city centre, breaking tree branches and ripping the roof off one of the pavilions of Riga Central Market, the State Fire and Rescue Service said.

Hundreds were evacuated but no injuries were reported.

The strongest wind gusts were recorded as a cold front bringing rain passed through Latvia from the north.

In the southwestern port city of Liepaja, wind speeds reached 31.4 metres per second and in the northwestern port of Ventspils 29 metres per second.

The storm disrupted power supply to some 4,000 households, mainly in the central and southern parts of the country, the national power grid operator Sadales Tikls said.

--IANS

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