Tornado injures 19 in Luxembourg as storms batter Europe
10 AUGUST 2019 • 11:21AMFollow
Atornado ripped across southwest Luxembourg on Friday leaving at least 19 people injured, two of them severely, while 15 soccer players were injured by a lightning strike in southern Germany as unseasonal storms hit northern Europe late Friday.
The tornado in the southwestern Luxembourg communities of Pettingen and Kaerjeng left a path of destruction that made up to 100 homes uninhabitable, local media reported Saturday. Debris and damaged cars were left strewn around the area, while at least four power poles were destroyed.
In eastern France the tornado was less severe, but local media there reported that dozens of roofs were destroyed and cars were damaged in the communities of Longwy and Herserange. Tornadoes are a very rare weather condition in Europe, which is more typically hit by gales.
With winds reaching 80 miles per hour, according to the meteorological office, the tornado smashed through towns near the borders with Belgium and France on Friday evening.
Footage posted on social media showed the swirling winds towering above homes and roads and tearing up roofs and tree branches high into the air.
The Luxembourg government, which released the toll, has set up a crisis unit.
Around 100 homes have been damaged, Pierre Mellina, mayor of the town of Petange, told RTL media.
Other images broadcast showed roads blocked and vehicles damaged. The local fire service said the electricity had been cut to certain areas “preventatively”.
As the tornado entered France late Friday it damaged homes in the Meurthe-et-Moselle region, but there were no reports of injuries, according to local authorities.
German news agency dpa reported Saturday that the lightning struck a football field in Rosenfeld-Heiligenzimmern where 15 players were exercising. They were injured only slightly but were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
In Bavaria, thousands of music fans were asked by police to leave an open-air concert in Rothenburg early due to the weather, while gusty winds led to the collapse of a circus tent in Neckarsulm.
One horse had to be euthanised, while 15 other horses and camels ran away and had to be caught by police.
In Amsterdam, a whirlwind passed through the centre of the Dutch capital on Friday night. No one was injured and there were a handful of reports of damage. More windy weather is expected today in the Netherlands.