Freak tornadoes sweep North Poland (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

A freak spate of summer tornadoes has torn through northwestern Poland, killing at least one person and injuring 10 more. Tornadoes are not uncommon in the eastern European country, but the scale and strength of the latest storms were unprecedented.

Large swathes of forest were flattened, power lines downed and over a hundred homes were destroyed by the wave of tornadoes. The hardest hit areas were the provinces of Kujawy and Wielkpolska.

The tornadoes were categorized by meteorologists as class two, with a wind velocity of up to 200 kilometers per hour.

A 60-year-old man was crushed to death in the village of Wycinki when his summer cottage collapsed during the storms, report local officials.

At present over 1,000 rescue workers have been deployed in the region to clear up the debris and restore basic utilities to the hardest hit areas.

“I saw a black column coming our way,” a resident of Wycinki told state news. “It carried everything away with it…birds, debris, sucked up water from the lake.”

This month has seen Poland hit by a bout of extreme weather, with torrential downpours causing flash flooding throughout the country.

A cow stands inside a destroyed barn following a tornado in the village of Osia July 15, 2012 (Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)
A cow stands inside a destroyed barn following a tornado in the village of Osia July 15, 2012 (Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)
(Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)
(Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)
(Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)
(Reuters / Agencja Gazeta)