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Deadly storm rips through Romania

Several people were killed during a sudden storm in western Romania, with gusts of wind uprooting trees and tearing off roofs. The authorities advised people to take shelter and unplug their electrical appliances.

Romanian Prime Minister Mihai Tudose traveled to the hard-hit city of Timisoara on Monday after a violent storm left at least eight people dead and more than 100 injured.

The severe weekend weather disrupted traffic and triggered power outages in the west of the country, while also causing destruction in parts of Serbia and Croatia. 

Gusts of winds reached nearly 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour in Timisoara. At least one man was reportedly killed by a knocked-down billboard and a woman was lethally injured by a falling tree.

During his visit to the region, Tudose met with local officials and announced that a rapid warning system would be put in place. 

"We weren't warned about this. The weather report only called for rain," the city's mayor, Nicolae Robu, said.

A tree trunk lays across a parked Audi car (picture alliance/AP/C. Putan)

Several people across Romania were killed by falling trees

"There are dozens of trees on the ground, roads blocked, we are out of electricity and water," he told TV channel Digi 24. "There are overturned trucks. I've never seen anything like this."

Six people were also injured by falling trees in Serbia, and a man went missing while out on his boat on the Danube.

Emergency responders advised the people to take shelter indoors, unplug their household appliances and park at a distance from trees or power lines. The storm comes after several days of exceptionally hot weather.

Former Romanian president Traian Basescu blamed the storm on climate change.

"These are the costs of our foolishness because we manage to destroy and pollute the atmosphere in the name of development," he told Romania TV.

dj,nm/msh (dpa, AFP, Reuters, AP)