Credit: CGDIS

Following the tornado that hit the municipalities of Pétange and Kaerjeng in southern Luxembourg on Friday evening, the Government Crisis Unit has announced that almost 60 people had been rehoused as of Saturday evening.

On Saturday, the number of reported injuries resulting from the tornado rose to 19 (up from the 14 previously reported). Two of the victims suffered more serious injuries requiring hospitalisation. In addition, some 100 houses have been declared unhabitable due to the extent of damage caused. The Government Crisis Unit, put in place following the tornado, reported that, as of Saturday evening, a total of 26 people had been rehoused by the Pétange municipality and a further 31 by the Kaerjeng municipality. 

The Government Crisis Unit then met twice on Sunday, at 11:00 and again at 19:00, under the chairmanship of Interior Minister Taina Bofferding and in the presence of the Mayor of Pétange, Pierre Mellina, and alderman Frank Pirrotte to review the situation in the affected municipalities and define the actions to be taken in the coming hours and days.

They confirmed that the priority for the authorities remains the focus on homes whose roofs has been damaged and have not yet been fully covered or sealed. In this context, the Grand Ducal Fire and Rescue Corps (CGDIS) was working simultaneously on 15 houses yesterday. A CGDIS officer is also supervising and priotirising work carried out by private companies.

The number of requests for intervention increased significantly during the day on Sunday, half of which had been taken care of by the evening. In order to maintain and increase the work pace, with the support of the Army, the Crisis Unit decided to keep the day teams on site until nightfall and to strengthen them to reach a rescue workforce of 180 firefighters from 25 Fire and Rescue Centres and 3 Specialised Intervention Groups. Since the morning, 40 soldiers and municipal teams were also on hand, as well as the police who remained permanently on site to secure the premises and restore the flow of traffic.

Since the majority of roofing interventions require the use of specialised machinery, the Crisis Unit also decided to increase the number of turntable and telescopic ladders to a total of 14 while guaranteeing sufficient operational coverage in the rest of the country.

Traffic in the affected areas remained severely disrupted, including that of relief operations. As such, the population was asked to avoid these areas unless absolutely necessary.

Throughout Sunday evening, the Pétange and Kaerjeng municipalities continued to rehouse those affected in hotels.

The Crisis Unit will continue to monitor developments closely.

A hotline for people who are affected or want to hear news about the affected area can call tel: 8002-8080 or, from abroad, tel: +352-4977 1 9147. The Psychological Support Group also remains available when needed.