§ Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now make a detailed statement on the loss of life and personal injury and also of loss and injury to livestock and of other material damage in Aberdeen and district caused by the recent heavy storms of wind, snow and rain there.
§ Mr. Maclay
I regret that as a result of the storms in the north eastern counties of Scotland in the week beginning 17th January, including a particularly severe blizzard on 19th January, six people died, and I should like to take this opportunity of expressing my deep sympathy with their relatives. Only a few cases of personal injury have been reported, including two caused by exposure and eight in a railway accident.
The storm caused widespread dislocation of communications and some towns 100W in Aberdeenshire were temporarily cut off. But main roads were quickly reopened by the unremitting work of local authorities and their staffs, despite the fact that clearance operations were hampered by abandoned vehicles; after a rapid thaw had set in from 21st January normal conditions were soon restored. In the Aberdeen telephone area thirty-two telephone exchanges were isolated and thousands of faults on lines were reported; all exchanges are now back in service.
Material damage fortunately appears to have been slight. No reports from farmers of losses of livestock have been received by my Department's office in Aberdeen, although a few isolated cases of loss are known to have occurred. No cases of damage by flooding to agricultural land have been reported. Some slight damage occurred to fishing vessels in harbour. In the City of Aberdeen itself, although there was considerable disruption of public services, there was no serious damage.