Polish countryside ravaged by tornadoes

Scenes of devastation left in aftermath of freak summer twisters that flattened at least 400 hectares and 100 homes.

    At least one person has been killed and another 10 injured after a freak wave of summer tornadoes struck the north and west of Poland.

    Bory Tucholskie forest, a national park and popular tourist destination, and surrounding villages were badly hit by a twister that was between 800m and 1,000m wide, local media reported.

    More than 400 hectares of woodland were flattened in the area, authorities said, and over 100 houses wrecked.

    Al Jazeera's Emma Hayward reports that "the hurricanes were travelling up to 200km per hour and that many would have been suprised there were not more victims".

    Power lines were downed and roads were closed as hundreds of fire fighters worked to clear away fallen trees. Some trains had to make detours after debris had fallen onto the tracks.

    Local rescue worker Mieczyslaw Torlop told TVN that one man had been killed in the village of Wycinki after being crushed by his house. which collapsed under the force of the twister.

    "The man was installing the water conduit. He tried to hide from the tornado so he was running near the house. The whirlwind was so strong that the house collapsed on him. He was killed outright," he said. 

    Poland has been battered by a spate of severe weather recently, including flash floods and violent hailstorms.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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