Storm hits central Russia

In central Russia local authorities are counting losses and repairing the damage after Friday's hurricanes battered the area. In the Moscow region, the stormy weather halted trains as trees fell on tracks and the lines were flooded.

Several thousand people were held up for hours, and later evacuated on buses.

The traffic police reported a sharp increase in the number of road accidents.

And services at the domestic and international airports in the capital were also disrupted.

In just eight hours, Moscow received more rain than it usually does in a week at this time of year. 

It was a similar situation in the city of Tver just over 100 miles north-west of Moscow which experienced extensive blackouts as power lines were cut. Preliminary estimates put the cost of the damage at around $US 100,000 in Tver alone.

Some casualties were reported in the town Stupino, caused by debris blown off a roof.