Five people have been killed and at least 36 injured as a result of falling trees after a series of severe thunderstorms hit Poland late Friday into Saturday, August 12, 2017.
Two girls, aged 13 and 14, were crushed by falling trees while sleeping in a tent when a storm hit the campground for Girl Guides and Boy Scouts in the northern village of Suszek. Another 20 children were said to have been injured.
Adam Kralisz, chairman of the Lodz Region of the Scouting Association of the Republic (Poland), where the scouts were from, told the private Polsat television that evacuation was ordered immediately, but conditions were horrendous. "We had to force our way for kilometers through the forest, among falling trees," he said, as reported by Reuters.
One woman died when a tree hit her house in the northern village of Konarzyny. In a nearby village, a man sleeping in a tent also perished after being hit by a tree brought down by high winds. The fifth victim was a 48-year-old man who also died after he was crushed by a tree, RTE reports.
Authorities said around 500 000 homes and businesses were left without power at the peak of the storm as violent winds downed trees and ripped off roofs in the country's north and south.
Some 800 buildings were damaged.
Bad weather is expected to continue today. Meteoalarm issued thunderstorm alerts for the provinces of Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, Warminsko-mazurskie, Mazowieckie, Podlaskie, Malopolskie, and Swietokrzyskie.
Thunderstorms accompanied by large hail, intense precipitation and wind gusts up to 90 km/h (56 mph), are possible.
Residents are urged to be prepared and to protect themselves from lightning. Damage to property and trees may occur as well as transport and outdoor activities disruption.
The weather should start to clear up on Sunday, August 13, but severe thunderstorms can still be expected in Lubelskie, Podkarpackie, and Podlaskie.
Featured image: Severe thunderstorm hits Poland, killing 5 and injuring at least 36 - August 11/12 2017. Credit: AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski