Luxembourg tornado, Germany lightning cause injuries
BERLIN (AP) — A rare tornado injured 19 people, two of them severely, in Luxembourg, while 15 soccer players were injured by a lightning strike in southern Germany as unseasonal storms hit northern Europe late Friday.
The tornado in the southwestern Luxembourg communities of Pettingen and Kaerjeng left a path of destruction that made up to 100 homes uninhabitable, local media reported Saturday. Debris and damaged cars were left strewn around the area, while at least four power poles were destroyed.
"Architects are going to come and survey the damage. Meanwhile, we will coordinate to cover the roofs," Paul Schroeder, director general of Luxembourg's fire and rescue service, told residents, according to Luxembourg French-language newspaper L'Essentiel.
The tornado was less destructive in nearby eastern France, but local media reported that dozens of roofs were ruined and cars were damaged in the communities of Longwy and Herserange. Amateur footage obtained by The Associated Press showed a small tornado whirling in the Oosterdok section of Amsterdam on Friday night. Tornadoes are very unusual in Europe, where fierce gales that are more the norm also created hazardous conditions.
In southern Germany, lightning struck a soccer field in Rosenfeld-Heiligenzimmern where 15 players were exercising Friday night. They were injured slightly but were taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Police asked thousands of people to leave an open-air concert in Rothenburg early due to the weather. After a circus tent collapsed in Neckarsulm in strong wind, one horse had to be euthanized and police had to round up 15 horses and camels that ran way.
Severe weather warnings have already led to the cancellation of a number of outdoor events in Britain this weekend. High winds and high temperatures were responsible for dozens of wildfires breaking out in Greece, officials said.
A total of 59 fires started over 24 hours starting Friday night, and authorities said all were either extinguished or under control by sundown on Saturday. The most serious fire broke out in a landfill on the island of Elafonisos, in southern Greece, and led to the precautionary evacuation of tourists from a nearby campsite, a local official told state news agency ANA-MPA.