Storm damages top 30 million euros in Estonia

  • 2005-01-12
  • By The Baltic Times
TALLINN 's Prime Minister Juhan Parts said damages caused by last weekend's storm in Estonia could reach some 500 million 's 550 million kroons (32 million - 35 million euros), according to preliminary estimates.

He said this was the tentative estimate given by a commission set up to evaluate the storm damage led by Finance Minister Taavi Veskimagi. The government expected to receive a fuller picture of the storm's impact on various parts of the country at its Cabinet session Thursday evening.

The prime minister said damage was being counted in various different spheres, including damage to companies, to individual property, to infrastructure, to local governments and to forests. For instance, infrastructure damage was estimated to total 60 million kroons and damage to companies 150 million kroons, Parts said.

Also, it was established that one elderly woman died as a result of the storm, conflicting earlier reports that there had been no casualties. Enn Vellend, an expert at the west Estonian forensic center, said the 93-year-old woman was found dead in the yard of her home in Parnu on Sunday and could be considered a victim of the storm. The woman drowned apparently after stumbling and falling into the water that had flooded the area.

"Water in the yard was not very deep, but it proved fatal for the elderly woman," Vellend told the Baltic News Service.

Officials had first suspected that one more elderly death in Parnu was a result of the flood, but a forensic examination revealed that the 87-year-old woman found dead in her flooded home in Kaarli Street on Sunday had passed away due to disease.

The fierce storm that hit Estonia and other countries of northern Europe over the weekend uprooted trees, ripped roofs from dozens of houses and knocked out power at a quarter of the electricity substations across Estonia. Sea water raised by the winds in coastal areas flooded hundreds of homes and forced the evacuation of several hundred people.