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Powerful freak storm lashed western Romania

Staff Writer |
A powerful storm that lashed western Romania with winds of up to 90 kph (56 mph) killed at least eight people and injured around 137, the country's interior ministry said.

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The thunderstorm swept through the region of Timisoara in just 15 minutes late on Sunday, bringing high winds and heavy rainfall to the area, which is located near the borders with Hungary and Serbia.

Romania's general inspectorate for emergency situations released a statement confirming that falling trees and loose debris picked up by the wind killed eight people and injured 137.

The storm tore down trees and ripped roofs from housing as it bore through its northward path across western Romania towards Ukraine and took many residents by surprise as it had not been forecast.

Many of the victims were in the street when the extreme weather struck; one man was killed when an advertisement billboard fell on top of his car while another died after he was hit in the head by a tree branch.

Speaking to the Digi 24 TV channel, Timisoara city mayor lamented that the weather forecasts had failed to predict the storm.

"We weren't warned that there was going to be a violent storm. The weather report only called for rain," he said.

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