THE DAMAGE caused by strong winds on Friday, May 16, is comparable with the calamity from November 2004 when up to 12,000 hectares of forests in the Tatras sustained considerable damage, Environment Minister Peter Žiga said during his visit to the High Tatras National Park on May 16 as reported by the TASR newswire.

"While this wind calamity in the Tatras caused less damage to the forest than back then - according to the first estimates about 80,000 cubic meters of wood or about 100,000 trees were affected, the damage to hiking trails and tourist paths or transport infrastructure is comparable," said the minister as quoted by TASR.

The main road between Podbanské and Vyšné Hágy, which was blocked by fallen trees will, according to Žiga, was expected to open at the beginning of this week.

"This is an extraordinary situation in our largest national park, so after the damage calculation is done, I'm ready to release all the available resources from the Environmental Fund necessary to restore the damaged Tatra habitats and hiking trails," Žiga said as quoted by TASR.

The windstorms and heavy rains that hit Slovakia at the end of last week left around 100,000 households without electricity, mainly in central and eastern Slovakia, while several rail sections throughout the country had to be closed down. While the heavy rains were concentrated mainly in central and eastern Slovakia, the gales on Thursday caused problems throughout the country. The strong winds ripped off roofs and uprooted trees in several areas.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.