Tornado in Moravia: material damage to the tune of several billion crowns

The figures of the ground trajectory of last Thursday’s tornado give the measure of the scale of the disaster: resulting from a very violent thunderstorm cell and with a power of more than 200 km / h, it left behind. a landscape of desolation over a length of 26 kilometers and a width of 500 meters, which is shown in one of the most striking videos of the event: at his own risk, a resident of the municipality of Lužice filmed the approach of the tornado rushing down his street and sweeping everything in its path.

The aerial views of the seven devastated municipalities are now tinted with blue and green, the color of the tarpaulins that were stretched over a large part of the houses whose roofs have flown or collapsed. They are 1,200 in all to have undergone significant damage, of which more than sixty is dedicated to the demolition. Static engineers determine the extent of the damage, marking buildings that will no longer be able to stand. This is the case in Lužice, as its (unaffiliated) mayor Tomáš Klásek explains:

“In Lužice you can see houses marked with yellow or green crosses. There are about twenty in all. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the whole building will be demolished. In some cases, this means that a part will be destroyed. We have both cases in our town. In the meantime, the people who could no longer stay at home are accommodated for the most part with close relatives or friends. For those who could not, we found them boarding accommodation, so from that point of view there is no problem. The real problem will actually be when we have accurately determined the real condition of all the houses. “

Lusatia  Photo: Dalibor Glück, CTK

This Monday morning, 2,000 homes were still without electricity, against 70,000 last Thursday. On site, first aiders, firefighters or police officers, are always on hand for both liquidation and cleaning work. Faced with the influx of volunteers which was the source of major traffic problems, the South Moravian region called on the Czechs not to go there uninvited, but rather to let the authorities know their availability in order to facilitate the organization of assistance on site.

On Monday, the government approved the financial aid project for affected populations. According to the Minister of Finance, Alena Schillerová (ANO), the state will release up to 5 million crowns for the reconstruction of homes:

Alena Schillerová  Photo: Václav Šálek, ČTK

“The idea is to offer combined aid: disaster victims will be able to apply for a grant of up to 2 million crowns to rebuild their house, build or buy a new one. If necessary, depending on the damage, they can also request a loan at a preferential rate of 1% over a period of 30 years. Tuesday and Wednesday, mobile units of the Ministry of Regional Development will travel through the municipalities concerned and help residents fill out the forms which are often complicated. Especially since at present, most are without a computer, without the Internet. The goal is for them to be able to receive these compensation within a few days. “

Pears  Photo: Igor Zehl, CTK

Created in 2002, in reaction to the serious floods which had hit Central Europe, including the Czech Republic, the EU Solidarity Fund could also be mobilized once the total amount of damage has been definitively fixed. According to Jan Grolich, the president of the South Moravian region, those relating to collective property could amount to at least 12 billion crowns, while the damage to private property could be even greater.

Pears  Photo: Igor Zehl, CTK

The images of the devastated municipalities have sparked an unprecedented wave of solidarity in the country, with more than 700 million crowns collected to date by the various donation collections. The Czech Radio Foundation is one of the organizations to have started a fundraising campaign. On Wednesday, Czech Television will organize a concert in support of Moravia during which viewers will be able to make their donation.

Criticized for his reaction time to the scale of the disaster, President Miloš Zeman finally spoke on Saturday, expressing his condolences to the bereaved victims and thanking the rescuers on the front lines.