Videos: Over 72,000 lightning flashes during overnight thunderstorms

Some 72,500 lightning flashes were counted in Dutch skies while thunderstorms moved across the country on Wednesday night and during the early hours of Thursday morning, according to Weeronline. The storms also brought with them heavy downpours and strong winds.

The showers started on Wednesday evening above the northern parts of France and then melted together into a large storm complex, according to the weather service. The storms reached the south of the Netherlands late in the evening and then moved across the country in a north to northwesterly direction. 

Large parts of the Netherlands, particularly the south, northwest and center of the country, faced heavy downpours. In large parts of the country, between 20 and 30 millimeters of rain fell in a short time. Some places got over 40 millimeters of rain - more than half of the 68 millimeters of rain the Netherlands usually gets during the month of June. 

The thunderstorms were also accompanied by strong winds. The strongest gust was measured in Cabauw in Utrecht at no less than 127 kilometers per hour. According to RTV Utrecht, Wilnis and Vinkeveen were hit hard by a tornado. Though Weeronline adds that meteorologists will first have to inspect the damage to determine whether it was really a tornado, or a less severe whirlwind.

In addition to wind, lighting, and rain, the thunderstorms also brought hail to some areas. In the western parts of the country, people reported finding hail stones with a diameter of up to 4 centimeters.

The storms caused a lot of damage throughout the country, mainly in the form of fallen trees and branches. In Amsterdam, five people sustained minor injuries. One of them were hit by a tree. 

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