Destructive Tornado Strikes Central Russia

Destructive Tornado Strikes Central Russia


Cyclone Guido brought nasty weather to St. Petersburg on Monday, and continued to rage the next day. A destructive tornado swept through Central Russia. The Tver region took the brunt of the damage.

Residents of 90 settlements of the Tver region were left without electricity. The destructive storm brought down the roofs of houses, broke trees like matches, showering the streets with fragments of various structures and tree branches. Gusts of wind reached a velocity of up to 30 meters per second. Unsurprisingly, even iron roofs were blown off.

The Andreapol and Ostashkov were the worst-hit urban districts, where entire streets were damaged by the acts of nature. Many houses are beyond repair. People were hiding from the raging storm in cellars. Three people were killed, including one child. An August 3 report said that 15 people had been injured in the Tver region.

At present, personnel of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) and utilities continue rescue operations. They have to restore power supply to towns and villages and clear debris in the streets for traffic. Rescuers are making door-to-door visits to find out what help is needed, giving priority to families with children. Temporary housing is provided and the kindergartens that sustained minor damage work round the clock to accommodate children.

EMERCOM aero-medical units had to be used to help the victims. According to, Tver Region Governor Igor Rudenya ordered to buy houses for the residents of Andreapol whose houses had been destroyed by the storm. Only pre-fabricated houses will be bought. The rescue effort involved more than 340 people and 78 pieces of equipment.

After Tver, a slightly weaker hurricane wind turned toward the Russian capital. It brought heavy rain and thunderstorms to Moscow. A lightning struck the Ostankino TV tower. Moscow Vnukovo, Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo airports delayed or canceled dozens of flights due to the bad weather.

Squall wind and showers also hit St. Petersburg. Some streets turned into canals and the cars parked near the houses drowned in the water. Buses had to literally swim across the flooded roads. There was a 9-on-a-scale-of-10 traffic jam on the roads of the city in many places on Monday evening. As reported, 48 mm of precipitation, or 2/3 of the monthly norm fell out in the city in 12 hours. Up to 88 mm of rainfall was recorded in Peterhof located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland. The hurricane-force wind felled about 100 trees.

There were also heavy downpours in the Kursk region. Storm-water sewers were not fully effective and streets in some settlements turned into rivers.

In an interview with TASS, Yevgeny Tishkov, a top expert of the Phobos Weather Center warned Middle Volga residents that strong gusty winds might be soon observed in their areas as well.

According to Tishkov, this situation in Central Russia depends on the passage of a cold atmospheric front. Cold air masses came to the Central Russian plain after a hot spell, which triggered the growth of rain clouds (cumulonimbus and hybrid ones), to a height of 12,000 meters in some places. All this caused showers and thunderstorms, with hail and strong winds in some places.

A cyclone came to the Far East on August 7-9, reported Roshydromet. Strong gusts of wind are expected there, sometimes up to 30 meters per second, and heavy downpours with up to 110 mm of rainfall per day. Regional EMERCOM departments sent warnings to Primorsky and Khabarovsk territories, as well as to the Jewish Autonomous Region and Amur Region. Governors were advised to check the serviceability of reserve power supply sources and material reserves. Rescuers in these areas are ready to work in the high-alert mode. According to RIA Novosti, tourists on the coast are to be evacuated due to the approaching typhoon.

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