28 June 2022, by Victoria Séveno

At least one person has died and several more have been injured after a rare tornado hit the Dutch city of Zierikzee on Monday afternoon. 

73-year-old killed after tornado hits Dutch city

While much of the Netherlands was hit by heavy rain and thunderstorms on Monday, the southern province of Zeeland saw a more extreme type of weather roll in on Monday afternoon. At around 2.30pm on June 27, a tornado with wind speeds of between 179 and 218 kilometres an hour travelled across Schouwen-Duiveland, a municipality around 50 kilometres south of Rotterdam

The tornado caused extensive damage to hundreds of homes in the local area, ripping roofs from a number of houses and several tiles from the roof of a local church. Police report that a 73-year-old woman was fatally injured after being struck on the head by a roof tile. A further eight people suffered minor injuries, while one was rushed to the local hospital for treatment. 

Eyewitnesses said the tornado managed to wreak havoc in a matter of minutes, and local mayor Jack van der Hoek added that emergency services are working hard to repair all the damage. “This afternoon Zierikzee was unexpectedly hit by a very strong gust of wind… on behalf of the municipal council, my condolences go out in to everyone affected by this,” he told the press on Monday.

Between one and three tornadoes in the Netherlands every year

While tornadoes are something you’re more likely to associate with the United States than northern Europe, this certainly isn’t the Netherlands’ first – or biggest – tornado. Typically, between one and three mini tornadoes hit the Netherlands every year. 

One of the Netherlands’ deadliest tornadoes occurred back in 1967, leaving seven dead and dozens injured. Another particularly dangerous one hit Ameland in August 1992, and a few years ago, in August 2019, a weak tornado caused minimal damage in Amsterdam.

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