28/11/2006

Welsh village struck by 'tornado'

A clean-up operation is underway in a Welsh village after it was struck by what is believed to have been a small tornado in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Emergency services were called to Bow Street in Aberystwyth in West Wales around 2am, as more than 20 houses were damaged in the storm.

Trees were uprooted, electricity cables were brought down and there was damage to roofs and chimneys. However, it is not thought that anyone was injured.

A spokesperson for Dyfed Powys Police said: "It was apparent that what is believed to be a tornado had struck parts of the village."

Weather experts have issued tornado warnings to other parts of Britain following the severe weather in Aberystwyth.

The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (Torro) issued a warning at 12:55am on Tuesday of isolated severe thunderstorms or weak tornadoes over the next few days.

The warning, published on the organisation's website, applies to parts of south-west England, East Wales, South Wales and much of southern, central and eastern England.

The warning said that the highest tornado risk appeared to be along and close to the south coast.

Rachel Vince, a forecaster from the MeteoGroup UK, said that they had received reports of a tornado near Portsmouth on Saturday. However, she said that the main concern was general wind and heavy rain through the next 24 to 48 hours.

(KMcA)

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