News24

Faroe Islands hit by hurricane

2011-11-25 16:22

Copenhagen - A hurricane packing winds of almost 200km an hour tore through the Faroe Islands overnight, causing major damage and evacuations but no deaths, police said Friday.

"There was a hurricane... a lot of material damage has been reported but no deaths so far," said Rani Wardum, a police officer in Torshavn, the capital of the North Atlantic archipelago.

"Winds reach up to 55m per second," or 198km per hour, in some places, meteorologist Mogens Roenebek of the Danish Meteorological Institute told AFP.

The Faroe Islands, an autonomous Danish province, are home to around 48 000 people.

The extent of the damage was not immediately known.

"Many roofs were blown off and we had to evacuate a retirement home. The seniors were moved into a hospital," Wardum said.

Some residents were also evacuated from their homes during the night and a number of boats came loose from their moorings and ended up on land, he added.

"The winds are still raging, but it was particularly violent last night and overnight," Wardum said, noting that the southern coastal regions of the Faroes Islands were hardest hit.

The storm was heading towards the west coast of Norway on Friday, with strong winds and heavy seas, according to Roenebek.