Sunday, May 6, 2012

Something About the Weather: Extremely Rare Tornado Kills 1 in Japan

A very rare tornado struck outside of Tokyo, Japan,  killing at least one person, injuring dozens of others and destroying scores of houses.

Firefighters and emergency medical teams rushed to the area after the tornado struck the city of Tsukuba, 40 miles from the capital of Tokyo. The city is a renowned science center, with dozens of research and academic institutes, but the tornado appeared to hit mostly in residential sections of the area.

A 14-year-old boy has died from injuries suffered during the tornado, local media is reporting. More than thirty people were injured, with at least ten seriously and being treated at local hospitals. Japanese news networks are showing video of rows of houses without roofs, apartment complexes with smashed balconies and shattered windows as well as telephone poles tilted over by the powerful winds.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimates that at least 24,000 homes were without electricity as cloud-to-ground lightning strikes added to the storm's total damage. Tornadoes are an extremely rare occurrence in Japan.

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