Poland, Slovakia and Austria send aid to tornado-stricken Czechia

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Neighboring countries did not hesitate to express solidarity and the will to help tornado-stricken areas of the Czech Republic. The Slovaks were among the first to offer assistance while the Austrians and Poles also provided a helping hand.

Slovakia offered the Czech Republic help with the accommodation of people, said the Slovak Minister of Social Affairs, Milan Krajniak. Slovaks also organize a collection of goods to help people in Moravia.

Poland then sent firefighters.

“Our firefighters will help clear the catastrophic consequences of the tornado,” Polish Prime Minister spokesman Piotr Müller wrote on Twitter. “At such times, we are always available to our neighbors,” he added.

Already on Friday night, rescuers were also sent to Moravia by the Austrians. Just a few hours after the element swept through parts of southern Moravia, Patrick Wolfram and his colleagues from the Austrian Red Cross were on the scene to help treat the wounded.

“Homes and infrastructure have been completely destroyed,” he told APA on Friday.

Soon after, Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen expressed solidarity with the Czech Republic.

On top of the help by its neighboring countries as well as Czech citizens, Czechia strives to obtain financial aid from the European Union. In Brussels, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš applied for funding from the European Solidarity Fund (EUSF), set up for cases of natural disasters.

“I asked the president of the European Council and the President of the European Commission for help from the special funds of the European Union for the affected municipalities in South Moravia,” Babiš informed on Twitter.

Title image: Buildings and cars damaged by the tornado in southern Moravia (Martin Sekanina / Twitter)

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