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Monday, May 7, 2012

Tornado Kills Boy In Ibaraki-ken - Updated

Tornadoes have hit the northeastern part of Japan killing a 14-year-old boy in Tsukuba-shi (Tsukuba City) in Ibaraki-ken (Ibaraki Prefecture), Japan on Monday, May 7, 2012.

Hitting at around 12:45 PM, an unidentified boy 14-year-old boy died as a result of the tornado, said a spokesman at the disaster headquarters of Tsukuba, located about 60 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.
The exact cause of death is not known. Some 36 others were either rushed to hospital or sought aid after the tornado hit. Numbers are expected to rise. 
According to reports, power has been cut to over 20,000 homes in the area. 
Best guesses say there is damage to about 500 buildings in the area, mostly affecting Ibaraki and Tochigi-ken (Tochigi Prefecture) according to broadcaster NHK and the Yomiuri Shinbun (Yomiuri Newspaper). 
According to the Tsukuba fire and emergency bureau, 30 to 50 homes were destroyed by the twister with many more damaged. 
Moka-shi (Moka City) in neighbouring Tochigi prefecture reported one injury and damage to 132 buildings after it was hit by a separate tornado.
A number of minor injuries were also reported in Tochigi, while a swathe of eastern Japan was battered by strong winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain.
Television footage from Tsukuba showed houses swept from their foundations, overturned cars in muddy debris and fallen concrete power poles.
Japan's weather agency issued warnings for a wide region in the east of the country, urging people to seek shelter in case of sudden winds and thunder.

HERE'S a follow-up story!
Files compiled by Andrew Joseph

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