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NEWS / Europe

Belarus suffers storm damage

Aircraft damaged and roads flooded in and around Minsk as thunderstorms turn violent.

by Rob McElwee

Three people were seriously injured on Wednesday afternoon as a vicious line of thunderstorms swept through Belarus. The winds were gusty and the rain fell in sheets over the capital, Minsk.

Trees were uprooted in the southern Leninsky district and several flights were diverted from Minsk National Airport to the Belarussian city of Gomel, south of the storms, and one to Vilnius, Lithuania.

The damage at Minsk National Airport was notable - some terminal windows were blown out, one light aircraft ripped apart and two full-size passenger planes were blown into each other while on the ground. Nobody at the airport was hurt.

The city of Orsha, 200km to the east of Minsk, recorded gusts of 72 kilometres per hour as the storm passed through at its most powerful.

Nowhere in the country reported more than 28mm of rain; nevertheless, this was enough to cause flooding on the western side of Minsk.

The risk is not over, however, as more storms are forecast for Thursday.

What is more, the forecast weather for the next two days over Poland, Belarus and the Baltic States looks more reminiscent of autumn than of summer.


SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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