Storms tear through western Romania, five dead, dozens injured

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 17, 2017 1:27 PM

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - A strong storm tore through western Romania on Sunday, killing five people and injuring dozens as it snapped trees, ripped off roofs and smashed into road signs, emergency services officials said.

Strong winds closed several national roads, and rail traffic out of the western city of Timisoara was blocked due to power shortages. Hundreds of firemen were deployed across several counties rescuing people and clearing debris.

"I am on the field, crossing myself," Timisoara mayor Nicolae Robu told local television station Digi24.

"There are dozens of trees on the ground, roads blocked, we are out of electricity and water. There are roofs torn off houses, apartment buildings. There are overturned trucks. I've never seen anything like this."

The national weather agency has issued warnings of strong winds and rainstorms for the western counties of Bihor, Timis, Arad, Caras Severin, Alba, Cluj and Satu Mare.

Emergency responders have urged people to take shelter indoors, unplug household appliances and park in areas not close to trees or power lines.

(Reporting by Luiza Ilie, editing by Louise Heavens)