(ZEELAND, Netherlands) — A tornado tore through the Netherlands’ western province of Zeeland, killing one and wounding nine on Monday, according to regional emergency services.
A 73-year-old woman died, one person was taken to the hospital and eight others treated for injuries on site by ambulance personnel following the storm, which started in the center of the city of Zierikzee, authorities reported.
“This afternoon Zierikzee was unexpectedly hit by a very strong gust of wind. Unfortunately, someone died and several people were slightly injured. There is also extensive damage to homes and trees. Also, on behalf of the municipal council, my condolences go out in the first place to everyone affected by this,” Mayor Jack van der Hoek said in a statement.
Officials are in the process of inspecting the affected homes in the area, including a safety assessment for returning residents, regional authorities reported.
As of 4:46 p.m. on Monday, there were still a number of streets that had not been secured by officials, and authorities said the affected area is only available to residents due to safety concerns.
According to Telegraaf Netherlands, 10 to 20 rental homes in the area have been severely damaged and are temporarily uninhabitable.
Officials are working to provide housing accommodations for those who cannot yet return to their homes due to damage, officials said.
Douwe Ouwerkerk was at home for lunch when the storm ramped up.
“It felt like the room was being vacuumed, which was quite a strong sensation,” he told Telegraaf Netherlands.
Ouwerkerk added that he could see roof tiles, a garden pool and “something that looked like a tent” flying around outside of his home.
Zierikzee is home to about 10,000 people and is located about 87 miles southwest of Amsterdam.
According to the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), tornadoes are a rare occurrence for the country.
The last time someone died from a tornado in the Netherlands was in 1992.
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