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Four Dead, 400 Houses Destroyed In Romanian Storms

11 July 2004 -- Lightning killed four people in Romania during storms that destroyed 400 houses, left dozens of towns and villages isolated, and knocked down power and telecommunication lines.

Officials said today the four people were struck by lightning while caught by the storms in fields in central, northern, and northeastern Romania. Strong winds, thunder, heavy rain, and hailstones followed a week of temperatures up to 37 degrees Celsius.

Around 280 villages and towns were left without electricity yesterday, with work continuing to restore power lines in 140
villages. Authorities said 4,600 hectares of agricultural land were destroyed by hailstones.

The Public Administration Ministry warned there was a danger of floods, with rivers likely to swell after the heavy rains.