moscow wind storm march 2020
© Alexandr Saiganov/TASS

Russia's capital has so far avoided a coronavirus death, but its more traditional foe, the weather, caused havoc on Friday with strong winds up to 25m/s, killing at least one man and hospitalizing others.

Speaking to news agency RIA Novosti, a spokesman for the emergency services said that a driver died in the east of Moscow after wind caused a tree to fall on the car. Other reports suggest that the vehicle, a Mazda, continued a few meters before colliding with two other automobiles.

"Near number 20, on 1st Myasnikovskaya Street, a tree fell on a passing passenger car. The driver died," he said.

Another news agency, Interfax, reported that a handful of other people were injured in the gale, and more than a dozen automobiles throughout the city found themselves parked underneath fallen trees.

In the morning, Moscow mayor Sergey Sobyanin took to social networks to urge residents to be cautious in the inclement weather.

"Dear citizens, please pay attention to the storm warning. Gusts of wind - up to 25 m/s. It is very serious. Be very careful," he wrote.

On Friday morning, the Russian Hydrometeorological Center raised the level of weather hazard to the 'orange' due to the increase in wind speed, and the weather bureau 'Phobos' calculated the gale as 9 on the Beaufort scale, meaning that the wind speed can reach up to 88 kilometers per hour.

"It is not recommended to go walking with children," the Bureau explained, "Motorists, beware: if possible, try to park cars in open spaces! In the evening, the wind will gradually subside."

Moscow is, unfortunately, no stranger to adverse winds. In May 2017, the capital experience the most destructive hurricane in 100 years, with wind speeds of 31 m/s, causing 11 deaths.