STA, 18 August 2022 - Fierce winds swept through Slovenia Thursday afternoon, ripping off roofs and toppling trees and other objects in parts of the country, leaving several people lightly injured in Ljubljana.
In Kranj, the winds peeled roofs off some 70 buildings. The Kranj fire brigade commander Andraž Šifrer told the STA more than 150 firefighters were on the ground to deal with the situation. "It's mostly uncovered roofs, ripped cables, trees fallen on roads and vehicles," he said.
Several people were injured by falling trees and other objects in Ljubljana, where the Environment Agency data shows winds gusted up to a record 102 kilometres an hour.
The wind blew away rubbish bins, billboards, roofs, traffic signs, building materials. Part of the roof of the Ljubljana UKC maternity ward was uncovered, but has since been mostly put back.
Insulation was ripped off a secondary school near the government building and presidential palace and in Bleiweisova Road nearby a motorcyclist was injured as he was hit by advertising board pulled off from the side of the road.
A tree fell on a woman in Tivoli Park, injuring her lightly. In Rakuševa Street plasterboard was blown off a construction site and hit a car, lightly injuring a passenger. In Gosposvetska the building scaffolding collapsed.
Several roads were left blocked by fallen trees, including the thoroughfares Topniška, Dolenjska and Zaloška Roads, near Dunajska Road and the slip and exit roads linking to the Ljubljana ring road as well as roads in other towns.
Robert Okorn of the Ljubljana fire brigade said there was a huge number of fallen trees and uncovered roofs. As a priority firefighters are dealing with hanging objects that threaten passers-by and where cars are caught under trees.
The situation has been made worse as the website of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration is still not back up after being the target of a cyberattack yesterday.
Police have cautioned the public to exert caution driving or otherwise until the trees and rubble is removed from roads and streets.
According to the Environment Agency, winds reached speeds of up to 113 km/h on Mount Krvavec, 109 km/h in the village of Trojane in central Slovenia and 102 km/h in Ljubljana Bežigrad borough. In the west, where high winds are a more usual occurrence the speeds were below 100 kilometres an hour.
Weather forecaster Blaž Šter said the winds were part of the weather system that developed above the Tyrrhenian Sea before moving through Corsica and Italy to pass Slovenia on its way eastwards. In Corsica several people were reported killed by the storm.