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Published: Sunday, 5/6/2012

Tornado rips through city northeast of Tokyo

ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO — A tornado tore through a city northeast of Japan’s capital on Sunday, killing one person, injuring dozens of others and destroying scores of houses.

Firefighters and medical teams rushed to the area after the tornado struck Tsukuba city, 60 kilometers (40 miles) from Tokyo. The city is a science center, with dozens of research and academic institutes, but the tornado appeared to mostly hit residential areas.

A 14-year-old boy died after being injured by the storm, Tsukuba Medical Center said.

More than 30 other people were injured, including at least 10 who were being treated at hospitals, fire officials said. Details of the death and injuries were not immediately available.

Public broadcaster NHK showed rows of houses without roofs, apartment complexes with smashed balconies and shattered windows, and tilting telephone poles that could barely stand.

It said about 200 homes were damaged.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said 24,000 homes were without electricity as lightning added to the storm’s damage.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in the Tokyo area.



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