A powerful storm named Hurricane Gudrun by Norwegian meteorologists swept across Europe on 9 January causing huge blackouts and nuclear shutdowns.

Over 500,000 Swedish households were left without electricity as winds gusting at up to 180km/h downed power lines between Östergötland and Skåne. Anders Strandberg of Sydkraft said that it would probably take several days to reconnect all the company’s customers. On the morning of 10 January, it was reported that 220,000 Swedish homes were still without power.

Sweden’s worst storms since 1969 blew salt water into electricity transmission equipment causing five power reactors to be shutdown at Barsebäck and Ringhals. In Finland, engineers at Loviisa prepared for a shutdown as sea levels rose by 1.7m.

The Latvian government declared an energy crisis as 40% of the country lost power while thousands more were affected in Estonia and Lithuania. In Denmark, 60,000 households lost power.

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