A strong storm with winds that reached 300 kilometers per hour, accompanied by a tornado, caused the death of three people last night and some two hundred injured in the south of the Czech Republic, the spokeswoman reported today from the South Moravian relief services, Michaela Bothová.

The storm, which has mainly affected the towns of Hrusky, Mikulcice, Moravská Nová Ves and Luzice, forced the closure of the section of the D2 motorway between the cities of Brno and Breclav, which was reopened this morning.

The firefighters have appealed to the population not to travel to the affected areas to help, due to the poor condition of some of the communication routes.

The railway authority has reported that train connections were interrupted in 22 sections, and that there are complications throughout that region of the southeastern part of the country.

After the strong storms, which affected the whole country, 121,000 homes in the Czech Republic were without power tonight, according to the Vice President of the Government, Karel Havlicek.

Repair work began at 7 am and 78,000 homes are currently without electricity, of which 40,000 are in southern Moravia, which was the worst affected area, Havlicek said.

Hail balls the size of golf balls and hurricane-force winds with a tornado toppled numerous trees and caused extensive damage to buildings and cars late yesterday afternoon, according to CT public television.

The images after the tornado left scenes of great devastation, with overturned cars and buildings with collapsed walls and roofs.

“In ten minutes the town was devastated. Probably there were deaths. After there was no signal and the firefighters took an hour to arrive,” Marek Kosut, mayor of a small affected town, described to CT.

Some one hundred fire brigade units, with heavy vehicles and dogs, operate in the region, and units from Slovakia and Austria have also collaborated on this device.

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