5 dead, hundreds injured by rare tornado in Czech Republic – WAVY.com
PRAGUE (AP) – A rare tornado considered the most devastating in the Czech Republic’s modern history has ravaged the south-eastern part of the country, killing at least five and injuring hundreds, rescue services said on Friday. the police.
The tornado touched down on Thursday evening as strong thunderstorms hit the country. Seven towns and villages sustained heavy damage, including buildings turned to rubble and overturned cars. The thunderstorms were accompanied by hail which in some cases was as big as tennis balls.
Hrusky’s deputy mayor, Marek Babisz, told Czech public radio that half of his town had been almost completely wiped out.
“The church has no tower, the primary school no longer has a roof and insulation, all that remains are walls of what used to be houses… It’s really terrible.
Some 360 additional police have been dispatched to the area, along with military personnel. Rescue teams from across the country, joined by their counterparts from neighboring Austria and Slovakia, were using drones, helicopters and sniffer dogs to search the rubble.
Police said at least five people were found dead, but regional government chief Jan Grolich said the death toll was likely to rise.
“It is a huge tragedy,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. Babis was in Brussels to attend an EU summit and planned to visit the affected region later on Friday. He said he asked the EU for help.
“I would like to offer my condolences to the families of the victims,” Babis said. “We… will do everything we can to help people because this is a real apocalypse.” He said some 2,000 buildings were damaged.
More than 40,000 households remain without electricity in the south-east.
Meteorologist Martin Setvak said it was the most devastating tornado in the country’s modern history.
“It was certainly at least the strongest F3 intensity, but quite possibly it was F4” on the Fujita six-notch scale, said Setvak.
F4 causes devastating damage, with winds of up to 260 miles per hour.
Setvak said it was still unclear whether this was a single twister or multiple independents.
According to Setvak, the country experienced between one and seven tornadoes per year until 2020, but all were relatively small.
“Tornadoes like this are very rare in Central Europe,” climatologist Pavel Fasko said.