Sixteen killed and scores wounded in Moscow storm

The strongest winds ever leave a trail of devastation, felling trees, tearing off roofs and damaging over 2,000 cars.

    The strong winds reached up to 30 metres per second (67 miles per hour) [Alexander Panchenko/Reuters]
    The strong winds reached up to 30 metres per second (67 miles per hour) [Alexander Panchenko/Reuters]

    At least 16 people have been killed and scores more wounded in a powerful thunderstorm that hit Russia’s capital Moscow and the adjacent areas, officials said.

    The Investigative Committee said in a statement on Tuesday that 11 people in Moscow and five others in the suburbs were killed as high winds and rain ripped through the city on Monday, felling trees, tearing off roofs and damaging more than 2,000 cars.

    Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said 108 people remain in the hospital. He called the storm "unprecedented".

    The victims included an 11-year-old girl who was killed in the city’s suburb, the state's highest investigative agency said in a statement.       

     "We are conducting necessary measures to eliminate the aftermath of the disaster," Sobyanin said on Twitter. 

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    The Moscow Meteorological referred to the storm as a hurricane and said the winds were the strongest ever recorded in the capital.

    The strong winds reached up to 30 metres per second (67 miles per hour), tearing off roofs from more than 200 houses and felling 14,000 trees.

    The winds also disrupted the train services around the region and dozens of flights from Moscow's airports were delayed.

    More than 30,000 municipal workers were still dealing with the aftermath on Tuesday afternoon, Sobyanin said.

    Alexei Khripun, head of the Moscow Health Department, said on Tuesday that more than 150 people had applied for medical help.

    A top emergency official also said that 60,000 people in Russia's Stavropol region are being evacuated because of the threat of flooding.

    Similar storms hit Moscow in July last year that left nearly a dozen people injured, damaging more than 100 cars.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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