tree, two houses burst into flames after being struck by lightning, and
both terminals at Budapest’s Ferihegy airport had to close for an hour.
Several domestic TV channels went off the air for ten minutes, and
there were numerous power cuts.
ageing backup generators failed, lights went out in operating theatres,
and ventilators stopped working. Staff had to keep children alive using
bus services – mostly caused by fallen trees and branches, although
some overhead cables were also damaged. Normal services were resumed by
midnight, the company said.
Authorities were determined not to repeat the mistakes of 20 August
last year, when several hundred thousand people thronged the streets to
watch fireworks and were caught unawares by a ferocious storm that
felled trees and led to several fatalities. Last week’s tempest did not
kill anyone in Hungary. Reports suggested around eight people were
topped 140km/h and two people were killed, one by a falling tree, one
when a crane was blown over.