Strongest winds in 14 yrs batter Latvian capital

Riga, Latvia's capital, was battered by gale-force winds during the country's biggest storm in 14 years, according to the country's meteorological agency.

Wind gusts in the city hit 25.3 metres per second on Friday, according to the Latvian Environment, Geology, and Meteorology Centre. The city last saw a storm like this on February 23, 2008, when the wind gusted to 27.5 metres per second.

According to the State Fire and Rescue Service, the northwesterly wind wreaked havoc in the city centre, shattering tree branches and ripping the roof off one of Riga Central Market's pavilions. Hundreds of people were evacuated, but no one was injured.

As a cold front carrying rain swept across Latvia from the north, the greatest wind gusts were recorded. Wind speeds reached 31.4 metres per second at Liepaja, Latvia's southwestern port city, and 29 metres per second in Ventspils, Latvia's northwestern port.

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