[imagesource: Zdenek Kostiha/Reuters]
A deleterious tornado tore through several towns and villages in the Czech Republic last Thursday night.
The raging tornado, which came with hailstones the size of tennis balls, killed five people and injured hundreds more as it ploughed through the region.
The Guardian reported a hospital in the town of Hodonín, on the Czech-Slovak border, treated up to 200 injured people, including children and seniors.
The extreme weather also managed to destroy a retirement home, a local zoo, and power lines, which left about 75 000 people across the country without electricity.
That led to the closure of a major motorway connecting Prague with the Slovak capital, Bratislava:
The mayor of Hrušky was quoted in the Czech news agency CTK 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.”
Some of those stuck amidst the storm managed to capture the disaster on camera, with footage showing buildings being wrecked, tipped-over cars and buses, shorn tree stumps, and several fires with thick black smoke.
This eyewitness captured the moment the tornado hit a house in Hodonín:
More footage captures the tornado raging in the Czech village of Lužice:
The force of that wind is just horrific.
Apparently, it was the strongest tornado ever witnessed in the country, as its wind speed reached F3 to F4 levels on the Fujita scale.
F3 on that scale denotes wind speeds of between 250 and 330 kilometres per hour.
The devastation left in its wake was extensive:
Fundraisers have been organised to help fix the damage in the areas affected.
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