Mass Search for People in the Czech Republic After Fatal Tornado
Emergency services and soldiers in the Czech Republic will continue to search for people who are still under the rubble on Friday after a tornado and torrential rain wreaked havoc.
The death toll has risen to five since late Thursday night. About 200 people were injured, 60 of whom are still being treated in hospital.
The tornado destroyed homes and ripped roofs off homes in seven villages in the southeast of the country. Some residents reported “flying” cars. Hundreds of firefighters go door to door looking for possible victims. The army has sent soldiers and heavy equipment to the area.
Minister Jan Hamaçek of the Interior, who spoke of a major disaster, travelled to the affected area. Prime Minister Andrej Babis left Brussels early to go to South Moravia. He said many EU government leaders had offered help. The government has already promised financial support to people who have lost (part of) their homes.
The tornado reached wind speeds of 300 to 400 kilometres per hour. It is the most powerful storm in modern Czech history.
The town of Hrusky near the border with Austria and Slovakia was primarily destroyed by the natural violence that was accompanied by hailstones the size of tennis balls. Austria has sent two rescue helicopters to the neighbouring country, and help is also arriving from Slovakia and Poland.