At least 5 people have been killed and dozens injured after a rare tornado along with tennis ball-sized hailstones hit several villages in South Moravia, in the southeast of the Czech Republic, according to regional emergency services spokeswoman Michaela Bothova.
According to CNN . A local hospital in the town of Hodonin treated 83 injured people. Forty-five were admitted to hospital, six of whom were in serious condition, the hospital’s director Antonin Tesarik said.
The worst-affected area is a village of Luzice, where 100 to 120 of houses were destroyed or damaged, according to Luzice mayor Tomas Klasek. Roofs were ripped off houses and other buildings, windows were blown out, cars were overturned and debris was scattered through the streets, Reuters said.
About 100 firefighters, including extra crews from Austria and Slovakia, were assisting in recovery efforts along with urban search and rescue teams, according to Minister of Interior Jan Hamacek.
Video footage from the region on social networks showed buildings razed to the ground, tipped-over cars and buses, shorn tree stumps and several fires with thick black smoke.
“It’s living hell,” said the South Moravia regional governor, Jan Grolich, on Thursday after visiting the area.
The Czech news agency CTK quoted the mayor of Hrušky as saying that half of his village had been razed. The hailstorm also caused damage worth millions of euros to a baroque castle in the nearby town of Valtice, which is part of the Unesco-listed Lednice-Valtice cultural landscape.
“With some of the houses I can’t imagine them being repaired,” a rescue coordinator, Josef Koláček, told Seznam Zprávy newspaper. “Some of them will have to be rebuilt from scratch.”
An emergency services spokesperson told broadcaster ČT she estimated the number of injured people to be “between 100 and 150, including children and seniors”. A hospital in the town of Hodonín, on the Czech-Slovak border, said it had treated up to 200 injured people.