Hurricane-force winds battering Czech Republic

Hurricane-force winds have been battering the Czech Republic, taking lives, bringing down trees, power lines and damaging property. The worst problems are reported in the western and central parts of the country where two people were killed by falling trees and thousands of homes are without power.

The power utility CEZ has declared a calamity situation in seven regions. Many roads and rail tracks are blocked by fallen trees and emergency crews have been responding to hundreds of calls since the early hours of Sunday.

Peope have been advised to take extreme caution and not leave their homes if possible. In the mountain regions the force of the wind may reach 160 km per hour. A high wind warning is in force until midnight.