Damaged cars and houses are seen in the aftermath of a rare tornado in Moravska Nova Ves, Czech Republic, on Friday. Reuters
The tornado formed late Thursday as strong thunderstorms hit the entire country. Seven towns and villages have been badly damaged, with entire buildings turned into ruins and cars overturned. Over 120,000 households were without electricity.
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Some 360 extra police officers were sent to the area, together with the military. The rescuers from many parts of the country who came to help were joined by their counterparts from nearby Austria and Slovakia.
They were using drones and helicopters to search the rubble.
Family members recover their belongings from the debris of their destroyed home. Associated Press
The regional rescue service said at least three people have died.
"It’s a huge tragedy,” Prime Minister Andrej Babis said. Babis was in Brussels to attend an EU summit and was planning to visit the damage-hit region on Friday.
Marek Babisz, deputy mayor of Hrusky, told Czech public radio half of his town was almost completely destroyed.
"The church is without the tower, the elementary school has no roof and insulation any more, only walls remained from what were houses. There’re injured, it’s really terrible.”
Pat Lindsey, a resident of the county's hard-hit town of Ohatchee, told The Associated Press that a neighbor of his was killed when a twister destroyed his mobile home. "He was good as gold,” Lindsey said.
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"A total of 38 people were affected by the fire, of them eight unfortunately died," emergency services spokesman Prokop Volenik told the media. Czech media said the fire which was now under control was reported at 0349 GMT.
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