For the second time in its history, St Kilda was evacuated last Friday after severe gale force winds apparently caused major damage to buildings and defence infrastructure on the archipelago.
Overnight on Thursday, gusts of well over 100mph were reportedly recorded on St Kilda, allegedly damaging buildings and defence equipment.
On Friday morning, Stornoway Coastguard airlifted 15 members of staff based at the MoD facility to Benbecula.
Am Paipear is awaiting details from the MoD and Qinetiq on the extent of the damage.
Prior to its famous evacuation, St Kilda is believed to have been inhabited for some two thousand years.
However, exhausted by a life of extraordinary isolation and difficulty, the last residents of St Kilda left the island at their own request in 1930.
A military base was established there in 1957. To this day, the only regular residents of St Kilda are MoD and Qinetiq staff, while conservation workers, volunteers and scientists are regularly based there during the summer.
The entire archipelago is owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). It became one of Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites in 1986 and is one of the few in the world to hold joint status for its natural and cultural qualities.
A spokesman for NTS confirmed this morning: “No NTS staff or volunteers were present on St Kilda at the time and we are unaware of any damage to the historic buildings we care for at this stage.
“We have no confirmation of the wind speed recorded on St Kilda during the storms. We normally receive this kind of information from MoD staff.”
More to follow…