Luxembourg PM promises aid for tornado victims

Luxembourg's prime minister vowed on Sunday to provide financial assistance to people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by a rare tornado.

Xavier Bettel said: "We're ready to take on responsibility," in comments cited by Luxembourg's Tageblatt newspaper.

Rare tornado

Tornado victims will soon be able to access application forms on a government website, the newspaper reported.

Images and videos on social media showed the tornado, with winds of up to 128 kilometers an hour (80 miles per hour), throwing debris, roofs and tree branches into the air on Friday.

Tageblatt said damage has been reported at 314 buildings and around 80 homes were inhabitable due to the tornado, which struck the towns of Petange and Kaerjeng, near the border with France and Belgium.

Bettel, who cut short his vacation, said that a crisis team had been set up. "The government is helping those affected," he wrote on Twitter.

Tornadoes are less common in Europe than in the United States, where "Tornado Alley" in the Midwest sees many each year. The last known fatalities resulting from a tornado in Europe were in November 2016 near Rome.

kw/jlw (AP, dpa)

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