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Lightning causes havoc in East Finland

Violent thunderstorms knocked out power and kept rescue workers busy in Eastern Finland on Monday afternoon and evening.

Kuopion Satamatorin tuntumassa kaatui lehmus ukkoskuuron seurauksena.
This tree was split by lightning in central Kuopio, eastern Finland, on Sunday. Image: Keijo Salokangas / Yle

In North Savo and North Karelia, some 18,000 households lost electricity on Monday evening. The largest number of outages were reported in the part of North Savo served by the Savon Voima utility. Around 7 pm, nearly 15,000 of its customers were without power, dropping to 12,000 an hour later. In North Karelia, there were some 3,500 households without electricity.

In Kiuruvesi, near Iisalmi in North Savo, a lightning bolt set a wall of a detached house on fire. The lightning struck a telephone line, which then started a fire on one of the house’s walls. The residents were able to extinguish the blaze before fire-fighters arrived. Fire officials also checked another house that was struck by lightning on Monday evening. They also battled a number of brushfires around Upper Savo.

Rain to bring cooler temps

Thundery showers, possibly accompanied by hail, are expected to bring a break in the heatwave in some parts of Finland. In the south, conditions will continue to be stuffy and humid, with temperatures remaining in the high 20s.

There are forest fire alerts in place through much of the country as well as Meteorological Institute warnings of severe thunderstorms, gusty winds, heavy rain and high temperatures.

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