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Five dead and at least 150 injured as monster 200mph tornado rips houses to pieces in Czech Republic

FIVE people are dead and at least 150 have been injured after a monster tornado ripped through the Czech Republic.

The storm on Thursday tore houses apart, blew the roofs off buildings, and overturned cars in scenes that "resembled a war zone" in the Breclav and Hodonin districts.

A huge search and rescue operation is underway after villages were destroyed as winds reached over 200mph, leaving residents trapped under the debris.

The Czech Army have been deployed while specialised emergency workers are using several drones and thermal imaging equipment to help locate victims trapped under the rubble.

At least 30,000 have been left without power after the tornado tore through power lines and trees.

Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the situation was "very serious" and that he expected "lost lives".

"All available rescue units are in action or moving to the Hodonin region where several municipalities have been hit by a tornado," he wrote in a tweet.

Rescuers said their Austrian and Slovak counterparts were on their way to help.

Shocking video footage recorded in Hodonin shows buildings and cars destroyed, tree-less stumps, and a number of fires - while the nation grapples to contain the situation.

Other clips shared to social media show the path of destruction the tornado has left in its wake - such as entire streets of houses being wiped out.

Among the homes and businesses damaged, a retirement home was also said to have been devastated by the tornado, and the twister even toppled a bus.

Fallen trees have blocked some 30 train routes.

"We estimate the number of injured people at 100-150, ranging from children to senior citizens," regional emergency services spokeswoman Michaela Bothova told Czech Television.

The Mayor of Hrusky said "half of his village had been raised from the ground," according to Czech news agency CTK.

The publication also reported that a dozens of casualties were being treated at the hospital in Hodonin.

Red Cross spokesman Andreas Zenker said: "We have sent twelve ambulances and an emergency doctor vehicle to the area.

"Other units from the Weinviertel have already been alerted."

Meteorologists have reportedly said the tornado is between level three of four on the Fujita scale - and damage is considered to be "significant" to "severe".

The high-speed winds would make it the strongest tornado in the Czech Republic's modern history.

In neighbouring Poland, a twister struck the southern Malopolska province on Thursday, damaging roofs and injuring one person, according to local media.

In southwestern Germany, a vaccination centre was flooded and five people were injured after being struck by hail "the size of tennis balls" during heavy storms.

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