News digest: Slovakia ready to help after damaging storm hits neighbours

Bratislava zoo director has resigned due to her citizenship. Purchase of American jet fighters unjustified. Also read about the annual city festival taking place in Bratislava and take a look at the unusual mammatus clouds above the city.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good afternoon. Here is your Friday, June 25 edition of the Today in Slovakia news overview. Catch up on the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Tornado damaged villages just across the Slovak borders

Extreme weather claimed at least five lives while hundreds were injured in the Czech Republic's region of southern Moravia, just across the border from Slovakia.

Seven villages have suffered massive material damage.

The Czech authorities have mobilised all the available rescue forces to provide relief in the region. Help has also been provided by neighbouring countries, including Slovakia.

Several fundraising campaigns have been set up to help the people in the damaged areas. Donations can be sent, for example, to the account of the Diocesan Charity in Brno, through the Slovak branch of the ADRA non-governmental organisation which coordinates with ADRA CZ, through People in Peril or through the Association of Community Foundations of Slovakia.

Coronavirus and vaccination news

  • The May death statistics indicate an improvement. This month almost 4,500 people died, the lowest number within the last eight months. Covid-19 dropped to the third leading cause of death. (The Statistics Office)
  • The number of people waiting for their anti-Covid vaccination in the virtual waiting room decreased. A total of 54,520 people are waiting for their first jab and 259,000 for the second one. (Denník N)

Check out Spectacular Slovakia for weekend reading tips. This week, Peter Dlhopolec writes about a big weekend celebration of Hont region wine, the Doby Hory (Conquer the Mountains) challenge, an innovative campaign against homophobia, and the Bratislava City Days festival.

Gallery of the day

One of the storms filled the sky with photogenic clouds called mammatus clouds in Bratislava on Thursday, June 24.

Feature story for today

While Stupava is only just 20 kilometres away from the centre of Bratislava, it may take hours for its residents to get to the capital. The congestion is caused by the repairs of a bridge on the D2 highway between Lamač and the Sitina Tunel. This transport restriction, causing troubles not only to commuters but also the carmaker Volkswagen Slovakia, will last until the end of the summer holiday season.

Roads from Záhorie to Bratislava are congested. What are some alternative routes? Read more 

In other news

  • Júlia Hanuliaková, who became the new director of the Bratislava Zoo in November 2020, has resigned from her post due to the loss of her Slovak citizenship. Her foreign citizenship formally prevents her from holding her position.
  • The prices of public transport tickets in Bratislava will change from July 1. While most of the tickets will increase in price, the year-long ticket will be 25 percent cheaper. At the same time, the 15-minute ticket will be scrapped as well as the 10-percent discount for holders of the Bratislava city card for Bratislava citizens.
  • Temperatures reaching 38 degrees Celsius were recorded for only the second time in history in Slovakia on Thursday, June 24, the Slovak Hydrometeorological Office (SHMÚ) reported on its website. The all-time high figure was measured at a station in the village of Mužla (Nitra Region). TASR
  • The tornado that swept through South Moravia is an unprecedented natural disaster while the events in the Czech Republic are the result of the climate crisis. It is only a matter of time before a similar tragedy hits Slovakia, noted the Slovak Environment Ministry. (TASR)
  • The Defence Ministry has failed to prove that the purchase of 14 American F-16 jet fighters in 2018, the most expensive military acquisition in the history of Slovakia, was justified, while the procurement process itself and its approval were not in accordance with the rules, the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) said on Friday. (TASR)
  • The city transport company in Bratislava (DPB) wants to become the first carrier with a fleet of hydrogen-fuelled buses in Slovakia. In the first stage at the turn of 2022 and 2023, it plans to procure twenty 12-metre-long, hydrogen fuelled buses.
  • The public can choose the name for a new cycle bridge over the Morava River that is to be completed by next summer. The last such effort back in 2012 ended with a joke proposal to name the bridge after action film hero Chuck Norris.

Anniversary of the day

Maria Theresa was crowned the Hungarian king in St Martin Cathedral in the then Pressburg, today’s Bratislava, exactly 280 years ago, on June 25, 1741.

Do not miss today

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