Tornado causes massive destruction in South Moravia

Villages in South Moravia have suffered major damage after being hit by a reported tornado on Thursday evening. A spokesperson for the fire service in the region told Czech Television that there had been massive destruction in seven villages and that it could not be ruled out that there were people beneath buildings that had collapsed.

Hrušky in the Břeclav area was among the worst hit, with the deputy mayor saying half of the village had been flattened. The Hodonín area has also borne the brunt of the destruction.

Amateur videos and photos posted on social media showed very strong winds as well as damaged vehicles and buildings with windows blown out and roofs blown off.

A meteorologist told Czech TV that it had likely been a force three or four tornado and was the strongest seen in the country’s modern history.

The governor of South Moravia called a meeting of the regional crisis team and the army has been deployed.

Rescue teams said they had dealt with hundreds of injured persons. The fire service reported early on Friday morning that at least three people had died.

The police said that a number of municipalities were being closed to civilian vehicles in view of the situation. Neighbouring countries Slovakia and Austria also sent rescue teams to the area.

President Miloš Zeman thanked the rescue services for providing assistance during this sudden natural disaster.

Author: Ian Willoughby