Most Read: Local

Posted at 12:04 PM ET, 05/07/2012

Tornado strikes Japan near Tokyo, kills one (VIDEOS)

Residents walk under fallen power poles after a tornado struck Tsukuba city, northeast of Tokyo, Sunday, May 6, 2012. The tornado tore through the area, injuring at least 30 people, destroying dozens of homes and leaving thousands more without electricity. (Tetsu Joko - AP)
A tornado with winds of 113-157 mph (F2 intensity) ripped through the city of Tsukuba in Japan Sunday, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Tokyo. The twister left a trail of destruction, killed a 14-year old boy and injured dozens.

Here’s how the Daily Telegraph described the storm damage:

Dramatic television footage from the city revealed how houses were swept up in the storm from their foundations, causing cars to overturn in muddy debris and concrete power poles to tumble.

Hundreds of houses suffered from broken windows, with aerial images also showing many properties with their roofs entirely blown away in the storm.

EarthSky reported the tornado “picked up vehicles and tossed them like toys.”

Dramatic video of tornado in Tsukuba, Japan (via YouTube)

Tornadoes don’t occur that often in Japan. Wunderground’s Jeff Masters noted: “Between 1961 - 2010, an average of 15 tornadoes per year hit Japan, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.”

Video of tornado in Tsukuba, Japan via (YouTube)

When they do occur, they most frequently coincide with tropical cyclones. Earth Sky elaborated: “ Typhoons can spin up small tornadoes within the storms, and are likely the main reason Japan experiences tornadoes.”

Video of tornado in Tsukuba, Japan via (YouTube)

Sunday’s tornado was spun up a thunderstorm complex associated with low pressure west of Japan rather than a tropical system.

List of Asian tornado outbreaks (Wikipedia)

Video of tornado in Tsukuba, Japan via (YouTube)

By  |  12:04 PM ET, 05/07/2012

Categories:  International Weather, Latest

Read what others are saying

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company