Most of the weather warnings we get in Malta are during the summer and there to make sure that we all protect ourselves during heatwaves against intensely high temperatures and scorching UV index. The rest of the year nothing too dramatic happens, nothing dramatic enough to warrant a weather warning in Malta. And yet, on days like today, there should be weather warnings. Not to warn us against the 10 minutes of downpour and 30 minutes of thunder, but instead to warn us about how horribly incapable Malta is of handling their standard winter weather.
Bad Weather Warning in Malta
The higher points of Malta are generally, absolutely fine. But the rest of the island is so unequipped to deal with even the smallest bit of rain that flooding, crashes and property damage are the norms. Entire streets can flood, often up to calf height, overflowing from pavements into offices and homes. Cars stalling in the middle of the road, when it becomes a river and floods the engine. Busses flooded. Roads at a standstill. Sewers pouring actual faeces into the streets for the pedestrians to walk through.
Here you can see a kind van driver helping to push a poor car through the water and out of the way. This is part of a complicated one way system so by the time the driver noticed the flooded streets there was nowhere else for them to go but straight into it. Being a small car the engine soon stalled as everything filled with water and they had to rely on the kindness of strangers to push them out of the way, out of the water, so their car could dry out and continue their journey.
Here you can see the pileup of traffic as some, rightly, don’t want to drive into what can only be described as a river, whilst others have stopped as their vehicles simply won’t go on any longer. Busses held up, a police car, siren screeching, trying to get through.
How to Handle Floods in Malta
So here is my Malta weather warning to you. If it’s likely to rain today,
- don’t take an umbrella as it’s probably too windy to use.
- wear wellies
- take a waterproof poncho or mac; nothing too thick as even though it’s raining, it’s still hot and humid.
- do not drive!
If you can avoid going out, then do. Like me today, you may end up getting stranded somewhere as, unless you want to walk 30 mins in the downpour (which I’ve also done, it’s shit) you’ll not be able to get anywhere.