Update: Eight dead, at least 137 injured after strong storm played havoc in western country. Early warning system, agreed

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The death toll of the atypical storm that hit western and central country on Sunday evening climbed to eight. All victims were killed by the objects torn off by the wind that reached 100 km/h. The deaths were reported in Timis, Arad and Bistrita counties.

Five people died due to the storm that tore apart Timisoara, two in Bistrita-Nasaud and one in Arad.

One of the victims, a woman, was hit by the branches of a tree at the Zoo in Timisoara, while another man died after was hit by a falling billboard. A 24-year-old young man died after the entrance gate in Timisoara, on Calea Lugojului, had fallen down on his car. Police officers opened a criminal case for manslaughter in this case. Other two persons lost their lives in Buzias.

Another woman lost her life in Moneasa, Arad county, while two persons died in Bistrita-Nasaud.

Hundreds of trees and electricity wires fell down on the road in Arad following the windstorm that lasted only a few minutes.

The National Forecaster ANM issued a Code Orange and Code Yellow alert of bad weather, strong winds, heavy rains, dangerous meteorological phenomena in four counties in southwestern Romania on Sunday evening: Timis, Bihor, Hunedoara and Caras-Severin, with the clouds moving from southwest to northeast.

At the same time, at least 137 people were injured due to the falling trees, billboards and because of the branches ripped off by the wind (49 in Timis county, 12 people in Arad county and 6 people in Alba, according to the latest report released by the General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations.

Over 15,000 households in nine localities from Alba county went out of electricity after the storm had put down trees and ripped off pieces of tiles which fell down the electricity wires. Six peopled ended up in hospitals after being injured.

Over 50 trees were put down in Alba and several roads were blocked, particularly in Apuseni Mountains. Around 30 cars with tourists were blocked near Scarisoara Glacier in Apuseni after the storm.

The most affected was Timis county and the city of Timisoara. Over 47 people, seven children included, needed medical care at the Timis Hospital, with patients having head, arm, leg and chest injuries after being hit braches, tiles and other heavy objects. Two children went surgeries after the storm left them in a coma.

In Baia Mare, Maramures county, trees fell down on houses, cars and electricity wires, while 20 tourists remained trapped in the chairlift in Suior locality after a tree fell down the chairlift’s wires and remained blocked. A pregnant woman in the chairlift freaked out and jumped off, as PM Tudose announced, yet mentioning she is in stable condition.

In Deva, a woman was hit by a billboard ripped offby the wind, while in Cluj a part of the hospital’s roof was also taken by the wind.

Over 100 trains reported delays, while 15 have been cancelled. The delays even mounted to 300 minutes in western country, mostly affected by the storm.

Early warning system, agreed

The premier decided on Monday to set up a working group, managed by the National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM), to draft an early warning system through the mobile phone. PM Tudose met the telecom operators and representatives of the ANCOM, the Special Communications Service and the Inspectorate for the Emergency Situations at Victoria Palace on Monday.

Gov’t sources revealed the <Alert> system enables people to be warned through SMS if they are in the geographic area of the extreme weather phenomenon.

A day ago, PM Mihai Tudose sent condolences to the families whose members died in the dreadful storm, saying that all state authorities are on alert, including the military who are involved in missions of cleaning out the roads and the railways. The premier also announced that an early warning system through SMS, so through the mobile operators, will be enforced in case of violent climatic events and extreme weather as of this week.

In his turn,President Klaus Iohannis has urged the Government on Monday to “urgently” implement an early warning system in crisis situations. The President also asked the Executive to explain if procedures have been respected and to say who is to blame “for negligence and incompetence”.

While also conveying his condolences for the unconsoled familiesa and wishing speed recovery for the injured, the head of state stated that protecting the life of the citizens and preventing extreme cases must be a “priority target” for the Government and that “no disfunctions” cannot be tolerated in the internal communication process among institutions.

Interior minister, Carmen Dan, will go to the affected areas in western country on Monday, to assess the damages. Minister Dan said a command for emergecy situations would take place in Timisoara at 15:00 and PM Tudose will also attend it.

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