A tornado struck the communes of Petange and Kaerjeng on Friday 9 August. Photo: CGDIS/Facebook
The Luxembourg army was called in and a crisis unit was set up over the weekend to help with the clean-up and emergency response after Friday’s tornado in the south of Luxembourg.
According to a government statement issued on Monday, a total 180 firefighters, 25 fire and rescue centres and three specialised response groups worked into Sunday night to continue with the rescue effort.
Friday’s tornado ripped through two communes, blowing off the roofs of 30 houses in Pétange and badly damaging those of 50 others. In Käerjeng, the tornado damaged up to 100 houses, of which 30 lost their roofs. Some 14 people were injured, of which two were still in hospital on Sunday evening. According to Paperjam, writing on Sunday in total 314 homes suffered damage and 90 remained uninhabitable.
Pylons were mangled, and threatened to fell a high voltage rail line. As a result rain service was interrupted on the between Pétange and Luxembourg via Dippach line. Photo: CGDIS/Facebook
Meeting with local leaders on Sunday, interior minister Taina Bofferding said that over half of the calls for help received had been treated. Much of the work involved roof repairs, requiring specialised equipment.
Traffic in the affected neighbourhoods remained severely disrupted on Sunday, though mainly because of the rescue operations. The government urged the public not to visit the impacted areas unless absolutely necessary.
Immediately following the tornado, Cactus Bascharage was closed off because of damage. Trains were also disrupted on Friday after a high-voltage line was damaged after several pylons were brought down. Train service resumed again on Saturday. Some 200 volunteers and 40 police officers were among the first responders on Friday.
Emergency responders and members of the army in the crisis unit. Photo: CGDIS/Facebook
Luxembourg was not the only country to be impacted by extreme weather phenomena on Friday. According to euronews, thunderstorms provoked a tornado in Amsterdam in the Netherlands on Friday. Local media suggested there was no loss of life.