Sudden storm lit up the skies

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Residents of southern and eastern Norway were mopping up Tuesday after a sudden and severe thunderstorm swept over the area during the night. Sintef Energi registered 11,000 lightning bolts when the storm was at its height.

Damage was relatively minor, but one man at Hvaler, outside Fredrikstad, was reportedly injured when he was struck by lightning. The local hospital told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that the injuries were not serious.

The thunderstorms started between Denmark and Sweden and rolled northwards along Sweden’s east coast, hitting Norway’s southeastern county of Østfold around 11pm. The lightning show over Oslo was at its most stunning around midnight.

Torrential rains set off some flooding and high winds blew down some trees. An estimated 55,000 homes and businesses lost electricity in areas south and east of Oslo, mostly in Akershus and Østfold.

The storm also rolled over Vestfold County on the western side of the Oslo Fjord and southern parts of Hedmark County to the east. The town of Stokke in Vestfold registered among the heaviest rainfall, according to the state meteorological institute. 

Police reported that the extreme weather set off burglar alarms in many public and private buildings. Only one fire was sparked by lightning, at a house in Ski south of Oslo. No one was injured and firefighters took control over the blaze.

Strong winds also hit areas of northern Norway, toppling a crane at a building site in Troms County.

The storm died down during the night and had mostly let up by Tuesday morning, but skies remained dark with sporadic showers. Forecasters said the weather was likely to remain unstable all week.

Views and News staff