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Hurricane hits Poland

9th December 2013
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The strongest winds in years have ravaged Poland, causing fatalities and blackouts

As WBJ went to press, five people died and a number were injured as a result of the Hurricane-force Storm Xaver, which hit Poland last Friday. In northern Poland, a tree fell on a car killing three people. The fourth victim was a passenger on a bus which swerved off the road and hit a tree, while the fifth victim was swept off a balcony by high winds in Lower Silesia. 

Donald Tusk met with voivodes to discuss the situation
Courtesy of Maciej Śmiarowski/KPRM

The Polish Institute of Meteorology and Water Management forecast wind gusts on Friday of up to 110 km/h inland and up to 135 km/h off Poland’s Baltic coast, which makes the winds the strongest in years that hit Poland, classifying the storm as a hurricane.

The wind ripped through most of the country, downing electricity lines and leaving as many as 400,000 homes without power. Transport services were also affected, with many trains and ferries delayed or stopped, and flights canceled. Firefighters had to intervene nearly 3,000 times.

After talking with voivodes, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that “the situation is difficult, but not dramatic,” adding that the biggest problems people faced were power outages. He added that all emergency procedures and services were prepared for the hurricane and handled themselves perfectly.

Strong winds were expected to continue throughout last Saturday and not calm down until Sunday. Before hitting Poland, hurricane Xaver wreaked havoc in other European countries, killing two people in Britain and one in Denmark, Sweden and Austria.

Jacek Ciesnowski

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