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)

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)

Jason is currently the Washington Post’s weather editor. A native Washingtonian, Jason has been a weather enthusiast since age 10.

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