Expatica news

Violent storm kills 13 in Moscow area

A violent storm swept through Moscow area Monday, leaving 13 people dead and dozens injured as freak winds toppled hundreds of trees, officials said.

“Due to storm winds hitting Moscow, 50 people have asked for medical attention up to now,” a spokesperson for the City Hall’s health department told AFP in a statement.

“Eleven were fatally injured,” the statement said.

Two more deaths were reported when the investigative committee of the Moscow region said that an 11-year-old girl and a 57-year-old man were killed, one by a falling tree and the other a flying fence.

Earlier investigators said that the victims were mostly killed by falling trees and various structures, such as a bus stop. Investigators were looking at scenes of the accidents and questioning witnesses.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin expressed condolences for those who died.

“Several hundred trees were felled,” he wrote on his official Twitter. “We are taking necessary measures to deal with the consequences.”

Moscow emergencies services dispatched units to remove the felled trees but had no information about any serious material damages, a spokesman told AFP by phone.

The weather caused delays at Moscow’s airports and the express train to Vnukovo airport had to halt service as workers removed a tree from the line.

The director of the Russia’s Gidromedtsentr weather service Roman Vilfand told Russian agencies that wind speed reached 22 metres (yards) per second during the hurricane and that another storm could hit the capital overnight.