Tornado injures 8, blows away roof tops in central Japan
OTSU, Japan (Kyodo) -- A tornado injured at least eight people, blew away dozens of roof tops and knocked out power to hundreds of households Friday in the central Japan prefecture of Shiga.
Winds damaged some 85 buildings and other property such as cars and knocked down utility poles in the city of Maibara, according to the local police and government. None of the injuries were serious.
The Japan Meteorological Agency said Friday night the damage was apparently caused by a tornado based on witness accounts and weather conditions at the time.
"We saw a tornado forming right above our school grou nd and developing into a shape of an upside-down cone around 30 meters high," said Atsushi Watanabe, an official at Ibuki High School in the city.
Tomoko Yano, who lives nearby the school, said, "I couldn't close the window because of the enormous wind pressure. It was terrifying to see a sparrow falling from the sky and objects flying."
Another resident said, "The wind was enormous. The roof of my house flew away."
Tokaido shinkansen bullet train services were temporarily suspended near the area.
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