A man was killed, roads were flooded, a vessel ran aground and damage reported as the Maltese islands were hit by torrential rain and strong winds on Saturday morning. The dry patch which dominated the month of January was wiped out in the first few days of February but the heavy rain which pounded the island from Friday night wreaked havoc in several areas. A driver was killed and a passenger was injured when a tree crushed his vehicle in Mriehel while a wall has reportedly collapsed in Birkirkara. A vessel also run aground in Qawra though there were no reported injuries. The Civil Protection Department and police urged motorists to exercise caution, especially in low lying areas due to rainy conditions. Police said severe flooding had hit different areas, especially December 13 Road in Marsa, Rue D'Argens in G?ira and parts of the Strand in Sliema. Scores of vehicles requested assistance after they were caught up in flooded roads. An average of 65mm of rain were pelted over the Maltese islands in the past 36 hours - that's more than the monthly average rainfall for February, according to the Malta Weather site. "As evident by satellite images we have more hours of rain till the afternoon. We advise to avoid unnecessary trips until around noon today," the site said. Northerly winds of force 6 to 7 are expected to increase to force 8 by the afternoon and becoming west northwest force 5 or 6 overnight, according to the Meteorological Office. The sea is rough and is expected to get rougher by the afternoon before calming down overnight. The first day of carnival was cancelled and it is not yet known whether Saturday's programme will go ahead as planned. Malta also marks the feast of St Paul on Saturday.