Monday, May 7, 2012

Japanese Tornado damage left over fifteen-km area in Ibaraki Pref

TSUKUBA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A tornado that ripped through Ibaraki Prefecture in eastern Japan on Sunday, killing a teenage boy and injuring dozens of people, is believed to have left damage over a 15-kilometer swath about 500 meters wide, Japan Meteorological Agency said Monday.

The tornado and gusts in prefectures north of Tokyo including Ibaraki and Gunma have left 48 injured and caused damage to some 890 houses and buildings, according to fire department officials.

The weather agency confirmed that the windblast that struck Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, was a tornado of the fourth-highest ''F2'' level on the so-called Fujita scale for tornado intensity comprising six levels. An F2 tornado tears roofs from houses, uproots trees, blows cars off roads and derails trains with an average wind speed of 50-69 meters per 7 seconds.

The level of the tornado could be raised depending on further investigation, the agency said at a press conference, adding that a cumulonimbus cloud that caused the twister was found to have reached an altitude of some 15 kilometers. Read More