29 January 2022

Woman killed by falling tree as Storm Malik batters UK

29 January 2022

A woman has been killed by a falling tree as strong winds from Storm Malik batter northern parts of the UK.

Police Scotland confirmed that a 60-year-old woman was fatally wounded by an uprooted tree in Aberdeen.

Winds of over 100mph have been reported in parts of Scotland, with widespread disruption to travel and power supplies.

Weather warnings are in place across all of Scotland, northern England and parts of Northern Ireland for most of Saturday due to the high winds and rain.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “Emergency services were called to Deveron Road in Aberdeen around 10.30am on Saturday January 29 to reports of a sudden death of a 60-year-old woman.

“There are no suspicious circumstances. A report will now be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.”

On Saturday morning, meteorologist for the broadcaster STV Sean Batty tweeted: “Had an extreme gust of 147mph recorded on the Cairngorm summit an hour ago.

“This is an incredible strength, but still a way off from the record of 173mph recorded back in 1986.”

A fallen tree blocks a road in Woodlesford in West Yorkshire (Danny Lawson/PA) (PA Wire)

Power supplies and mobile phone coverage has been affected, with Northern Powergrid saying: “Storm Malik is causing disruption to our network as it continues to move across our operating area.

“Our teams are responding, restoring power through alternative routes on our network where possible, assessing damage and co-ordinating repairs wherever conditions permit.”

SP Energy Networks, the company responsible for electricity transmission in central and southern Scotland, issued safety advice around potential power cuts.

It said customers should keep a battery or wind-up torch to hand and keep mobile phones fully charged, and people should also beware of fallen power lines.

Network Rail Scotland said it would introduce some speed restrictions for safety, and have additional staff equipped with chainsaws across the network to deal with blocked tracks.

On Saturday morning it said fallen trees had caused numerous services to be cancelled, including Inverness to Thurso, Perth to Aberdeen, Aberdeen to Dundee and Glasgow Queen Street to Oban.

Two Scottish Premiership games were postponed, with matches between Aberdeen and St Johnstone and Dundee and St Mirren called off due to safety concerns around the stadiums.

A statement on Aberdeen’s website read: “Today’s match against St Johnstone has been postponed due to Storm Malik and safety concerns around the stadium.

“We have been working closely with emergency services and the SPFL throughout the morning, closely monitoring the situation in the hope that conditions might improve to allow the game to be staged, but ultimately the safety of supporters, players and staff is our paramount concern and we would ask everyone to continue to adhere to the guidance being given by Police Scotland.”

The Scottish Premiership confirmed that Dundee’s game at Dens Park was off due to high winds.

The Championship game between Arbroath and Partick Thistle was also cancelled with no new dates set for the games.

Storm Malik has hit the Scottish Premiership schedule with two games postponed (Jeff Holmes/PA) (PA Wire)

Paul Gunderson, chief meteorologist for the Met Office, said: “The impacts of Storm Malik are going to be greatest in Denmark on Sunday, but the track of the storm in the preceding hours means that the UK will be dealt a glancing blow as Malik moves eastwards on Saturday.

“For those in the north of the UK there will be high winds and rain on Saturday, with showers possibly turning wintry in the high ground in the north.

“The highest winds are expected in exposed coastal areas in the north and east of Scotland, but it will be a windy day for most.”

More very strong winds are expected as another low pressure system moves across northern areas on Sunday, with some snow possible across parts of Scotland.

Another yellow warning for wind is in place for the northern UK from 6pm on Sunday until noon on Monday.

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