Japan cleans up after tornadoes

A vehicle is seen overturned among debris after a tornado swept through a residential area of Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture. [AFP]
PHOTO

A vehicle is seen overturned among debris after a tornado swept through a residential area of Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture. [AFP]

VIDEO from Australia Network News

Tornado wreaks havoc in Japan

Created: 07/05/2012

Last Updated: Tue, 8 May 2012 07:34:00 +1000

Japan's Self-Defence Force and township workers have begun clearing debris from a pod of tornadoes that swept the country's east.

The storms left a teenage boy dead and 56 people injured.

Japan's Meteorological Agency says similar atmospheric conditions that caused the tornados could develop over a wide area on Thursday and Friday.

Kyodo says the violent winds on sunday damaged at least 2,000 homes and other buildings in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures.

Torn apart


Tornadoes are relatively rare in Tokyo.

Television footage from the city of Tsukuba showing houses torn apart, overturned cars and toppled power poles.

Aerial images showed houses and apartments with shattered glass windows, many with roofs blown away.

"You could see the roaring column of wind rushing with sparks from live power lines inside it," a man told national broadcaster NHK.

"Winds blew into my house. It took only a moment," a woman told NHK while cleaning up her home.

Officials say a 14-year-old boy was killed while up to 50 homes were destroyed. Local media reported at least 30 injuries.

Disaster officials say they expect the number of people injured to rise.

Japan's weather agency has issued tornado warnings for a wide region in the east of the country, urging people to seek shelter in case of sudden winds and thunder.

The severe winds caused a power outage for nearly 20,000 households in the region, said a spokeswoman for Tokyo Electric Power.

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