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Five people killed as tornado wreaks havoc in Czech Republic

<i>Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>
AFP via Getty Images
Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images

By Tomas Etzler, CNN

Five people have been killed after a rare tornado along with tennis ball-sized hailstones hit several villages in South Moravia, in the southeast of the Czech Republic, officials said.

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, hospital 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.

The Czech Army sent an engineering unit to the region and more units are heading there to help, according to the Ministry of Defense.

The tornado may have reached windspeeds above 332 kph (206 mph), a Czech Television meteorologist said, according to Reuters. That would make it the strongest storm in recent times in the central European nation and its first tornado since 2018.

This story has been updated with a revised death toll.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Europe/Mideast/Africa

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