Windstorm claims three lives in Czech Republic


Prague, Oct 30 (CTK) – The powerful storm that hit Central Europe on Sunday claimed three lives in the Czech Republic as a man hit by a falling tree in Bela pod Bezdezem, central Bohemia, died of his injuries in the Liberec hospital, its spokesman Vaclav Ricar confirmed to CTK on Monday.

The 58-year-old man was helicoptered to the hospital in a critical condition.

The two other victims, a 83-year-old man from Jicin, east Bohemia, and a young woman in Starec near the Trebic, south Moravia, were also killed by trees broken in the windstorm.

At the highest Czech mountain Snezka, at the border with Poland, the storm produced wind of up to 180 km/h, which is the force of a hurricane.

The storm knocked down trees which broke power lines and blocked roads and railroads.

At about 21:00 trains were still not driving on five routes. However, the operation is to be renewed during Tuesday, Czech Railways (CD) spokeswoman Radka Pistoriusova said.

In addition, over 22,000 clients are still without electricity, the energy distributing firms said.

On Sunday, about half a million of households were affected by the power outage in the country of over 10.5 million people.

The CEZ power utility declared a state of emergency in eight of the 14 Czech regions on Saturday.

Firefighters had to intervene in over 7,300 accidents from the wee hours on Sunday to this early morning.

The material damage is high. Insurance companies have announced thousands of cases for hundreds of million crowns.

Between Sunday and Monday, the Czech Railways (CD) recorded over 90 incidents. The trains were not driving on 12 routes this afternoon.

The powerful windstorm that hit the Czech Republic on Sunday damaged about one million cubic metres of wood in the forests owned by state-run forest management company Lesy CR (LCR).

The volume of the damaged wood accounts for about 13 percent of the full-year amount of logging in the state-owned forests. Forests in northern Bohemia were hit the most hard.

Firefighters say the Karlovy Vary Region was most hit by the windstorm.

Due to the windstorm, the Prague Castle, Prague zoo, Prague Exhibition Grounds and all cemeteries in Prague had to be closed on Sunday. Part of the Prague Castle remains closed to the public.

Germany reported three victims of the storm called Herwart and Poland two. In the Czech Republic, it has been the most powerful storm since hurricane Kyrill that hit the country in 2007.