Tornadoes leave northern Sweden reeling

Tornadoes and rough winds wreaked havoc yesterday in the north of Sweden on Saturday, tearing down a large number of trees.

One man in the northern province Västerbotten was seriously injured when a tree fell on top of him, and is now in intensive care.

“The number of fallen trees is probably the worst I’ve experienced in several years,” Zakarias Juto, traffic controller at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket), told news agency TT.

The agency has received hundreds of calls reporting roads that are blocked due to fallen trees.

At worst, almost 15,000 of power company Vattenfall’s customers in the provinces of Västerbotten and Norrbotten were without electricity.

On Sunday, thousands were still waiting for the power to return, including 2,400 of Vattenfall’s customers, 425 of EON’s customers and 2,280 of Skellefteå kraft’s customers, reports regional newspaper Norran.

“In some areas our power lines are heavily damaged,” Roger Lindmark, information officer at Vattenfall, said to TT.

“Poles have been tumbled over and trees have fallen on lines.”

The thunderstorm was created as cold air from the west pushed out warmer air.

Tornadoes in connection with thunderstorms are not entirely unheard of in Sweden, according to meteorological institute SMHI.

“Several cases are observed every year, especially in the summer,” confirmed Linnéa Rehn, meteorologist at SMHI.

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