Severe storms in Austria claim five lives, including two children
Created: 08/18/2022, 21:35
Rescue vehicles are next to fallen trees at an accident site on Lake St. Andrä.
Two children died in a severe storm in Carinthia, and other people were injured, some seriously.
© Georg Bachhiesl/APA/dpa +++ dpa picture radio +++
In Austria, severe storms with gusts of almost 140 kilometers per hour caused devastation and claimed five lives.
Two children also died.
St. Andrä – First, heat waves caused problems in Europe for a long time.
Then on Thursday there were severe storms in many places.
In Austria, the thunderstorms with gusts of almost 140 kilometers per hour claimed five lives - two of the fatalities were children.
The two girls died at a small bathing lake in Carinthia by falling trees.
Severe storms in Carinthia: Falling trees kill two girls
As reported by the police and the Red Cross, several trees fell on Thursday at a small bathing lake in St. Andrä in the state of Carinthia.
Two girls aged four and eight died and eleven people were injured, some seriously.
Further north, three other people were killed by a tree in Gaming, Lower Austria.
According to the state meteorological service ZAMG, the storm speeds reached up to 139 km/h on Thursday.
The Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
“My thoughts are with the parents and relatives at this difficult time.
A terrible stroke of fate for the families,” said the Chancellor on Twitter.
He thanked the helpers on site.
"Thanks to all emergency and rescue workers, who often risk a lot in such situations to help their fellow human beings." Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen also spoke on Twitter about the accident.
He appeared deeply concerned.
"It is an immeasurable tragedy that two children died in the storms," wrote the politician.
Tens of thousands of homes cut off from electricity
The storm also paralyzed traffic in the south of the country.
In Styria, Carinthia and East Tyrol, the trains were temporarily at a standstill after the power supply for rail traffic failed due to the storm, as announced by the Austrian Federal Railways.
Due to the gusts of wind, dozens of trees near Griffen fell on the southern autobahn (A2) in Carinthia.
There were also power outages in tunnels.
The important transport link to Italy was closed in several places for clean-up and repair work.
In Styria, tens of thousands of households were cut off from the power supply because high-voltage lines and 2,000 transformer stations were damaged.
"In many cases, our colleagues have to cut their way to the repair work with a chainsaw," said a spokesman for Energie Steiermark to the ORF broadcaster.
It could take days, if not weeks, to fix all the damage.
There were also severe thunderstorms elsewhere on Thursday.
On the popular holiday island of Corsica, more than 40,000 people were without electricity at times, and at least six people died in storms – partly also because of falling trees.
In Munich, the weather also changed after a long heat wave.
Due to thunderstorms, the organizers temporarily interrupted the World Championships in Athletics, and people fled from the heavy rain