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Polish PM, ministers discuss cleanup after storm damage

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 15.08.2017 12:15
Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło on Tuesday morning held a briefing with her Cabinet ministers to discuss the situation after a series of severe storms that hit the country over the weekend.
Cleanup effort after a series of severe storms that hit Poland overnight from Aug. 11 to 12, 2017; village of Rytel, northern Pomorskie province. Photo: PAP/Jan DzbanCleanup effort after a series of severe storms that hit Poland overnight from Aug. 11 to 12, 2017; village of Rytel, northern Pomorskie province. Photo: PAP/Jan Dzban

The officials discussed ways of dealing with the damage caused by the violent storms, which killed at least six people and injured about 50 others while also damaging hundreds of homes and wreaking havoc in forests in Poland's north and west on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Taking part in the Warsaw meeting were ministers in charge of infrastructure and construction; defence; internal affairs and administration; family, labour and social policy; finance; health; energy; agriculture; and the environment.

Later on Tuesday, Szydło and several other government officials visited areas hardest hit by storms in the north of the country.

Meanwhile, following a decision by Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz, soldiers have been deployed to help remove the damage in the northern Pomorskie province, one of three most affected regions.

As part of the effort, troops and military equipment, including trucks, amphibious watercraft and heavy-duty engineering equipment, were being used to help residents in the village of Rytel, Pomorskie province, where thousands of trees knocked down by fierce winds were blocking the flow of water in the Brda River, thus posing a flood risk.

President Andrzej Duda on Monday sent his condolences to the families of the storm victims.

Poland's interior ministry has announced that some 6,000 families affected by the storms will be entitled to aid from a pool of more than PLN 30 million earmarked for immediate support and repairs of property damage.

Meanwhile, the Caritas charity affiliated with the Catholic Church is raising funds for the affected families and also offering immediate support to those in need.

Six people died and dozens were injured after violent storms with heavy downpour and fierce winds swept through Poland on Friday night and Saturday morning.

A 60-year-old woman died on Monday from head injuries which she sustained when parts of a barn she had found shelter in collapsed.

The other victims were two girl scouts, one aged 13, the other 14, a 48-year-old man who was crushed to death by a falling tree, a 29-year-old man who was killed when his tent was knocked over by the wind, and a 56-year-old woman who was killed by a falling chimney.

The storms also injured dozens, cut power to 500,000 people in its peak, and saw several localities cut off by debris lying on roads.

Firefighters were called out 15,000 times.

Thirty thousand hectares of forest were also destroyed in the storms, according to a spokeswoman for the State Forests National Forest Holding.

The spokeswoman, Anna Malinowska, said that at least seven million cubic metres of timber were damaged and that “huge losses” in animal numbers were recorded.

A number of forests are closed while broken trees and branches pose a threat to visitors, she said. (str/pk)

Source: PAP, IAR

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