16 people were killed when a severe thunderstorm hit Moscow and the region around the Russian capital on Monday. Hundreds of trees were topled, and about 150 people need medical help.
It was the deadliest storm in the city for more than 100 years.
The winds of up to 110 km/h (70 mph) were described by meteorologists as extremely rare for the city, and caused structural damage to buildings.Electrical cables were damaged as Moscow was lashed with high winds hail and torrential rain.The city investigative committee told that “hurricane winds” had blown down many trees across the city.
An elderly man was also killed at a bus stop.Two people were killed after a tree fell onto their summer house.On Tuesday, the authorities raised the death toll to 16, saying that 11 people were killed in the capital and five in the Moscow region.Delays had been reported on some metro lines but normal service later resumed.Tourist Frank Davis, from Newfoundland in Canada, was caught in heavy traffic in Moscow as the “dramatic storm” struck and said “The sky darkened noticeably and the winds were extremely strong..with debris flying around from all directions,”
Moscow’s Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin tweeted: “My condolences to the friends and family of those killed.”
Teams were busy trying to clear fallen trees from the streets.
“We reacted quickly and are recovering now,” told Gulnara Shakirova, a community service assistant.
“Many good trees, not old ones, were brought down. We are trying to remove all the trees before night falls.”