A powerful tornado hit several villages in the south-eastern Czech Republic on Thursday evening. A Czech Television meteorologist said the tornado, reported in towns around Hodonin, along the Austrian border and 270 km (167 miles) southeast of Prague, may have reached F3-F4 levels, with winds hitting 267-322 km per hour in the latter level. Seven small towns were “massively” damaged. Half of the village of Hrusky was destroyed. Buildings in the southern Breclav and Hodonin districts were also damaged. The worst-hit places looked like a war zone in videos posted by witnesses. There were several fatalities and at least 150 people were injured. “It was an apocalypse. There was blood everywhere and helpless people in tears. They saved their lives and lost the roofs over their heads,” Antonin Tesarik, the director of Hodonin’s hospital, declared. The tornado also caused severe traffic disruptions and power outages, leaving over 120,000 homes without electricity overnight.
It was the strongest in the central European country’s modern history and the first tornado since 2018. A state of emergency had been declared. Besides the tornado, very large hail up to the size of tennis balls struck several towns and villages including Hodonin. Severe damage was also reported to the retirement home and the local zoo in Hodonin.The Czech Minister of Interior Jan Hamacek tweeted that all available rescue units are in action.Tornadoes have been reported in every continent on Earth except Antarctica.