Tornado Strikes City Near Tokyo, Dozens Injured

May 7, 2012

A tornado has torn through an area just northeast of the Japanese capital, injuring at least 30 people and destroying dozens of homes.

The fire department said the tornado struck Sunday in the city of Tsukuba, 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

Firefighters and helicopter medical teams rushed to the area, and 30 to 50 homes have been destroyed. Other details were not immediately available.

NHK TV footage showed rows of houses that had lost roofs, and apartment complexes with smashed balconies and shattered windows. NHK also showed footage of a swirling gray cloud it said was taken by a passer-by.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in the Tokyo area. Tornado warnings were issued in northeastern Japan, including Tokyo.

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