Severe thunderstorm spawns destructive tornado in Belgium

Severe thunderstorm spawns destructive tornado in Belgium

Severe thunderstorms struck parts of Belgium on Saturday, June 19, 2021, leaving 92 homes severely damaged and 17 people injured. Heavy downpours also triggered flooding in portions of Flanders.

A tornado reportedly struck the town of Beauraing in Namur Province, injuring 17 people and leaving as many as 92 houses severely affected, 10 of which were declared unfit for habitation. More than a dozen cars were damaged.

The local cultural center provided shelter for residents whose homes sustained damage.

"The wind was incredibly strong. Houses and cars got damaged, trees were uprooted," Beauraing Mayor Marc Lejeune told Francophone public broadcaster RTBF.

According to VRT's weather presenter Frank Deboosere, the phenomenon could either be a local tornado or a strong downwind, which was triggered by the massive downpour that created a downward air movement.

In Rochefort, a dozen homes and a church lost their roofs due to strong winds. In Saint-Servais, a house was set on fire after being struck by lightning.

In Hainaut, various reports of flooding were sent, including around Péruwelz, Leuze-en-Hainaut, and Lessines. The fire services had to attend to 40 calls for help. 

InEast Flanders, local thunderstorms caused damages, particularly in the Oosterzele, Wetteren, and Aalst regions. The fire services received about 90 calls to intervene, mostly about flooded cellars.

Featured image credit: Land of Mountains

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